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The three fallen R&B star associates R. Kelly was arrested and charged by the New York federal government on Tuesday. All three were accused of attempting to harass, intimidate, intimidate and bribe some of Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse victims.
The men are Richard Arline Jr, 31, a self-described friend of the singer; Donnell Russell, 45, a self-proclaimed “manager, mentor and friend” of Kelly; and Michael Williams, 37, whom prosecutors consider a relative of one of Kelly’s former public houses.
The charges were filed in New York’s Eastern District. According to prosecutors, Arline attempted to bribe one of Kelly’s accusers earlier this year with a proposed amount of $ 500,000, to prevent her from cooperating with the government and testifying against Kelly at the session. court. Prosecutors also said that Arline claimed he contacted Kelly, while he was in custody, via a three-way phone call.
Russell, prosecutors said, attempted to harass and intimidate another Kelly accuser and her mother from November 2018 to February this year, after the accuser filed a civil lawsuit against singer. Russell reportedly threatened to release erotic pictures of the woman and reveal elements of her sexual history if she did not withdraw her lawsuit.
Prosecutors say that Russell, using an alias, also sent versions of those photos to producers and executives at Lifetime and A&E TV on December 4, 2018 – date that Lifetime held a pre-screen for a part of it Survive R. Kelly archives. That screening and a panel discussion was canceled because a gun threat was called in just before the event.
Williams was charged with fire on June 11 for an SUV parked outside the mansion where one of Kelly’s accusers was in Florida; the SUV was rented by the woman’s father. Investigators also found an accelerator around the residence, prosecutors said. In addition, prosecutors said, Williams searched the Internet for information on the flammability of fertilizers and diesel fuel; documentary about threats and witness tampering; and information on countries that do not have extradition treaties with the United States
Almost immediately after the charges against the men were announced on Wednesday, one of Kelly’s lawyers, Steve Greenberg, posted on Twitter: “No doubt Robert Kelly is not involved. He did not attempt to intimidate anyone or encourage anyone else to do so. Not to be involved in anything. “
New York prosecutors have alleged that Kelly and his associates – including “manager, bodyguard, driver, personal assistant and operator for Kelly, as well as members of the entourage. spare parts of Kelly “- acts as an organized crime ring.
They also claim that Kelly obstructed justice by destroying evidence and bribing witnesses during his last criminal trial, which ended with a no-guilty verdict in Chicago in 2008.
Kelly is facing two federal crimes: one in the Eastern County and one in Illinois. In total, these allegations include 22 alleged abuse of 11 girls and women over two decades, from 1994 to 2018.