A number of R. Kelly‘s network of managers and employees may face “criminal liability,” with reports alleging staff members had knowledge of the R&B singer’s sexual acts against young girls for nearly three decades, Billboard reports. During this period, Kelly was accused of luring, dating, and bedding women under the age of 17. But while the 52-year-old is currently charged with criminal sexual abuse and facing up to 70 years in prison, his supporters remain untouched.
Kelly “could not have accomplished this for 28 years without the assistance of others who looked the other way because they didn’t want the R. Kelly gravy train to end,” legal commentator Michael Avenatti said to Billboard.
Potential enablers remain outside the realm of prosecution although all the states within the U.S. require that professionals report suspicions of child abuse. Being that only a third of these states actually mandate these reports and Kelly’s home state of Illinois does not do so, charges for accessories hang in the balance.
Some of Kelly’s associates including security guards and personal assistants have the potential to have been exposed to the singer’s predilections for young girls, seeing as how the singer is believed to have had women and girls surrounding him.
If you recall Demetrius Smith, Kelly’s former tour manager and personal assistant, claims not only to have been the person tasked with making “people know that R. Kelly was here,” but also describes a first-hand account of when the singer impregnated and married Aaliyah while she was underage, according to his Surviving R. Kelly interview.
The “Ignition” singer’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, maintains that Kelly’s innocence makes possible criminal exposure unlikely. While charges brought against accessories in child abuse cases are statistically low, they are not unheard of. However, no formal charges have been brought against former and current members of the singer’s team.