Two women say singer R. Kelly picked them out of a crowd at a Baltimore after-party in the mid-1990s when they were underage and had sex with one of the teens although she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and could not consent. (Feb. 21)
Two new accusers came forward Thursday to publicly accuse R&B star R. Kelly of plying them with alcohol and marijuana during a mid-’90s Baltimore hotel room encounter that they say ended with the statutory rape of one of them.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who says she represents multiple accusers of Kelly, introduced the two new accusers at a press conference in New York, hinting that there is an ongoing investigation against Kelly, 52, by federal prosecutors in New York.
Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington told reporters that Kelly sexually assaulted one of them when they were too young and too drunk to consent.
“When I first met R. Kelly that night, I was very happy and excited because I was young and starstruck,” Scaff said. “Now that I am an adult, I feel hurt by what he did to me when I was only 16 years old and under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. …
“I am speaking out because I want to encourage other victims who I know must be out there to come forward as well. I want justice for anyone who is a victim of R. Kelly.”
The women said they met Kelly at a party after one of his concerts in Baltimore in 1995 or 1996, when Scaff was 16 and Washington was 15. They were offered alcohol, cocaine and marijuana by a man in Kelly’s entourage, they said, and were invited to Kelly’s hotel room.
The women said were told to wait for him with their dresses pulled up. When he came in, they said, his penis was visible over the top of his jeans. While Washington fled to the bathroom, Kelly got on the bed with Scaff and asked her to perform oral sex.
“I was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and did it,” she said. “He then had sexual intercourse with me even though I did not have the capacity to consent.”
Allred said Scaff, now 40, and Washington, 39, who live in Maryland, were to meet Thursday with federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York “to provide them with information relative to their ongoing investigation of R. Kelly.”
At the moment, Kelly is believed to be under investigation by state prosecutors in Chicago and in Fulton County outside Atlanta, following the revival of long-standing allegations of sexual misconduct, including underage sex, explored in “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part film that aired on Lifetime last month.
“We don’t know if Cook County will indict and that Mr. Kelly will be prosecuted there, and even if he is, there are other jurisdictions that may prosecute in the future,” Allred said. “We do know there are other jurisdictions that are investigating because that’s public knowledge. I would like there to be justice wherever it can be found.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District in New York declined through a spokesman to confirm or deny or comment about the existence of any investigation.
In addition to telling friends and family about the alleged nature of their encounter with Kelly, Scaff said they also called a Baltimore radio station to say they were in Kelly’s hotel room right before he entered.
“The radio station said, ‘Call us back. If your number matches the hotel where we know he stays, then we will put you on the radio.’ We did call back and the radio station saw the number of the hotel and put Rochelle and I live on the radio,” Scaff said. “Many people heard us.”
Allred also showed a picture of the two as teens that she said was taken on the night in question.
Allred said the women’s story follows an alleged “pattern of conduct” by Kelly in which young women are singled out to meet the star, plied with alcohol and drugs and isolated in a room. Then he enters and engages in “shocking sexual misconduct while his alleged victims are incapacitated and unable to provide any meaningful consent to his sexual advances,” Allred said.
“To R. Kelly I am sending this message: You have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide,” Allred said. “Your victims are now surrounding you and crying out for justice. … It is time for you to face the consequences of what you have done in our system of justice.”
Allred said her two clients, as well as others of her clients, are afraid that their alleged encounters with Kelly were recorded and that old videos may now be circulating without their consent.
Last week, another crusading lawyer, Michael Avenatti, disclosed that he, too, represents accusers of Kelly and that he had found an old video dating from the 1990s that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He said he turned the video over to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office in Chicago.
Allred has expressed concern that the video might show one of her clients and that it has been shown to CNN without her clients’ consent. Avenatti said on Twitter she’s wrong.
“Please note that Ms. Gloria Allred has had no involvement in our investigation since it began in April. The evidence we uncovered/provided to prosecutors has nothing to do with any of her clients nor do the videos depict any of them. We have never heard from her in this case,” his tweet read.
Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s Chicago attorney, did not return a message from USA TODAY. He has said repeatedly in recent weeks that Kelly denies all allegations of underage sex or sex without consent.
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