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A lawyer representing alleged victims of R. Kelly said Friday’s charges represent a watershed moment after years of allegations against the singer — but he also targeted others surrounding the case.
Michael Avenatti said Kelly’s alleged abuse of underage girls occurred while agents, managers and attorneys “looked the other way” over the course of more than two decades.
He said in excess of 10 “enablers” should be charged.
“I will not rest until each of you is brought to justice,” he said at a press conference Friday after sex abuse charges were announced.
WATCH: Avenatti ‘highly confident’ R. Kelly will be convicted on multiple counts
Kelly is facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The 10 counts involve four victims, and three of them were under the age of 17, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx said. A lawyer for Kelly said he denies the allegations and said the singer plans to turn himself in on Friday night.
Avenatti said Kelly “should never walk free another day in his life.”
He is representing six people in relation to the singer including two alleged victims, two parents and two whistleblowers from Kelly’s circle. He said the charges laid Friday concern one of the people he is representing.
WATCH: Avenatti predicts R. Kelly will spend rest of his life in prison
Earlier this month, Avenatti said he turned over to authorities a sex tape that allegedly showed Kelly and an underage girl. He described the tape as being over 40 minutes long and featuring various sex acts between Kelly and girl who said on tape that she was 14. It’s believed to have been filmed in the late ’90s.
Avenatti said two other tapes exist, and he is trying to obtain them as part of an investigation into Kelly he launched last April.
Kelly was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography charges stemming from a sex tape he allegedly made with an underage girl.
WATCH: ‘Fix was in the first time’: Avenatti claims 2008 R. Kelly trial was rigged
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told the Associated Press that the singer maintains his innocence and looks forward to being acquitted at trial.
He described Kelly as being “shell-shocked” by the indictment filed against him in Chicago.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
With files from Katie Scott and the Associated Press
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