R. Kelly faces new and more serious charges in sexual abuse case

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CHICAGO – An Illinois grand jury has indicted entertainer R. Kelly on 11 new charges in his sexual assault and sexual abuse case, including four new felonies with maximum penalties of 30 years in prison, according to court documents released Thursday.

His attorney said Kelly has been recharged in his existing case as it pertains to one alleged victim.

The charges range from aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the document says.

A person convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault can be sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison, according to Illinois law.

Kelly, 52, has vehemently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct.

A crisis manager for Kelly, Darrell Johnson, said, “He still maintains his innocence and denies all accusations brought against him by Jerhonda Pace in any state moving forward. He looks forward to a swift and speedy trial.”

Pace, who is listed as JP in court documents, posted a public message on her Facebook page.

“Yes, I am aware of the 11 new counts against R. Kelly. Yes, all new counts are related to my case,” she wrote. “Yes, I know his fans are mad about it. Please, DO NOT contact me telling me how I’m wrong for pursuing criminal charges all of these years later. Blah! No matter how ‘wrong’ you think I am, the law is on my side, a MINOR at the time. Carry on.”

In February, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse — a Class 2 felony — involving four alleged victims. The charges involved alleged criminal conduct from 1998 to 2010.

His attorney said the new indictment “changes nothing.”

“These are the same conduct, just charged differently, same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts. We expect the same results,” defense attorney Steve Greenberg tweeted.

Kelly is scheduled to appear in court June 6, said Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

The singer was released on bail in March in a case in which authorities have said he failed to pay his ex-wife child support of $161,000.

Kelly has faced accusations of abuse, manipulation and inappropriate encounters with girls and young women for more than two decades. In a March interview with CBS he said: “I’m very tired of all of the lies. I’ve been hearing things and seeing things on all of the blogs and I’m just tired.”

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