R. Kelly to face criminal charges as grand jury meets about underage sex tape allegations: Report

Criminal charges for singer R. Kelly may be imminent as an Illinois grand jury reportedly met and is scheduled to review a tape allegedly depicting the singer sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

Unidentified sources confirmed to The Blast that a grand jury assembled last week at the Cook County State’s Attorney Office in Chicago. They also said the citizen-comprised jury was formed after high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti handed prosecutors a VHS tape showing Kelly, 52, committing sex acts on a minor girl—and the jury will be presented with it soon.

The tabloid noted that the Cook County State’s Attorney Office’s enumerated powers allow them to convene a grand jury, which can summon witnesses and issue an indictment without the district attorney presenting evidence to a judge or defense counsel during a preliminary hearing.

TMZ reported that some of Kelly’s former alleged victims played a role in the grand jury’s swift assembly. Sources close to the investigation reportedly claimed the women were flown out to Chicago to examine the illicit tape Avenatti delivered to prosecutors. They were reportedly asked to examine the tape and point out anything that looked familiar—including the 14-year-old girl.

Avenatti recently told WGN that he’s “confident” an indictment’s coming soon.

“The tape is within the statute of limitations necessary to charge R. Kelly, and I am confident that in the coming days R. Kelly will be indicted, he will be arrested, and I will be very surprised if he ever walks free another day in his life,” he said.

Meanwhile, the singer’s lawyer refuted reports of a criminal investigation, telling TMZ on Sunday, “I am unaware of any ‘special’ grand jury being convened to look into R. Kelly. There is no record of any such proceedings, and no need for them. The report is false.”

[Featured image: R. Kelly/RTNJon Palmer, MediaPunch Inc., IPX via AP]