Artist News Legal

Three men arrested for allegedly bribing or intimating R Kelly’s victims

By | Published on Thursday 13 August 2020

R Kelly

New York prosecutors have arrested three men who are accused of plotting to harass, threaten, intimidate and/or bribe the women who have accused R Kelly of sexual abuse.

The arrests come as Kelly awaits trial in multiple states over numerous allegations of abuse in relation to numerous women. The musician has been repeatedly refused bail, partly because of claims that he sought to tamper with witnesses the last time he faced criminal charges of sexual abuse in the mid-2000s.

The three men arrested this week are Richard Arline Jr, Donnell Russell and Michael Williams, all of whom have connections to Kelly in one way or another.

Arline is accused of trying to bribe one alleged victim by offering up to $500,000 if she declined to cooperate with prosecutors. Russell is accused of threatening to release sexually explicit pictures of another victim if she continued to cooperate. And Williams is accused of seeking to intimidate another victim by setting fire to a vehicle parked outside a Florida property where she was staying.

Confirming the arrests had been made, Peter C Fitzhugh of US Homeland Security said: “These crimes shock the conscience. The men charged today allegedly have shown that there is no line they will not cross to help Kelly avoid the consequences of his alleged crimes – even if it means re-victimising his accusers. These acts not only fly in the face of human decency, they insult the very rule of law”.

Meanwhile acting US Attorney Seth DuCharme stated: “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 victimise the women who have come forward with serious allegations of criminal conduct against the defendant R Kelly. 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”.

However strong the cases maybe against Arline, Russell and Williams, R Kelly insists that he had no involvement in their alleged activities. His legal rep Steve Greenberg told Vulture: “Kelly has nothing to do with this – nothing to do with it at all. He’s never reached out to a witness, he’s never tried to intimidate a witness”.