Three of R.Kelly‘s associates have been arrested on suspicion of trying to intimidate or pay off victims and witnesses connected with the singer’s upcoming trials.
Richard Arline Jr., Kelly’s former advisor Donnell Russell and Michael Williams were each charged separately for their roles in the alleged harassment scheme that include “attempting to corruptly persuade the testimony of an alleged victim in the Kelly case,” “using the mail, the internet and cellular telephones to attempt to cause emotional distress to another individual,” and “using and attempting to use intimidation and threats against an alleged victim in the Kelly case” as well as “maliciously damaging and destroying a vehicle by means of fire and an explosive,” respectively.
“The defendants are separately charged with engaging in multiple crimes that were intended to undermine and subvert the integrity of the criminal justice system and victimize the women who have come forward with serious allegations of criminal conduct against the defendant R. Kelly,” Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement. “Efforts to illegally influence pending federal cases, whether through threats of violence, intimidation, damage to property, or payments to buy a potential witness’s silence, will not be tolerated.”
In a tweet, Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, denied any involvement with the men stating “We just learned of the charging of several so called ‘associates’ of R. Kelly. Without question, Robert Kelly had nothing to do with any of these alleged acts by those charged. He hasn’t attempted to intimidate anyone, or encouraged anyone else to do so. No involvement whatsoever.”
Photo: Nicholas Ballasy