The case against R. Kelly—who is facing charges of sex trafficking and federal racketeering for decades of alleged sexual abuse—is continuing to grow as the singer’s August trial date looms.
On Friday, prosecutors requested that the judge presiding over Kelly’s case allow them to submit new evidence for crimes including the alleged sexual abuse of a 17-year-old boy, whom prosecutors say Kelly met at a McDonald’s in 2006 before later inviting him to his studio in Chicago. According to the Guardian, the court documents allege that Kelly “propositioned and had sexual contact with him while he was still underage” after asking him what he was willing to do to launch his career in the music industry. CNN reports that prosecutors’ latest filing also includes testimony from a witness who says Kelly asked her to help him access child pornography featuring young boys for him.
The new evidence—if the judge allows it to be admitted—would significantly expand the scope of the case against Kelly, which has so far focused primarily on accusations from the young women and girls he abused and held against their will in his home for years. Prosecutors believe that evidence about Kelly allegedly repeating some of these behaviors with young boys would help convince a jury that the other charges against him “were part of a larger pattern.”
Prosecutors’ filing would also provide more support for the initial allegations against Kelly. Prosecutors say they have audio and video recordings that show Kelly committing physical abuse and threatening the women he lured into his cult-like environment. The recordings, prosecutors say, illustrate “the physical and psychological abuse Kelly employed to maintain control over women and girls with whom he was engaged in sexual relationships and Kelly’s regular use of audio and video recordings to maintain control.”
Some of these allegations are reportedly part of separate criminal and federal cases against Kelly in Illinois. Jury selection in the trial Kelly faces in Brooklyn is set to begin on August 9. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.