Three alleged associates of American musician, R.Kelly, have been arrested on Wednesday under suspicions of using harrassment and threats to silence women testifying against the embattled singer of sex offences.
In filings released on Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that three men recognized as Kelly’s comrades, identified as Richard Arline Jr., Donnell Russell and Michael Williams, have been engaged in separate bids to silence Kelly’s accusers in the New York racketeering case against him through intimidation, harassment and bribery.
Tactics listed by the prosecution include the burning of a car outside an accuser’s residence, threats to release sexually explicit photographs of one woman, and a scheme to compensate one accuser to the tune of $500,000 to influence her testimony.
R.Kelly, known as Robert Sylvester Kelly has been awaiting trial for over a year in several states for alleged wrongdoings including sex crimes against minors and child pornography.
He is further battling bribery charges in New York, believed to be linked to his marriage to the late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old.
He however pleaded not guilty to all charges, which range across the states of Illinois, Minnesota and New York.
Kelly faces federal charges in two separate cases — in Chicago and in New York — linked to his alleged sexual abuse of minors. The singer has a long history of abuse allegations, especially of underage girls.
The Chicago federal charges say Kelly filmed himself having sex with minors and that he paid potential witnesses in his 2008 trial — in which he was acquitted — to ensure their silence.
The artist is set for trial first in New York, with jury selection currently slated to being September 29.