Three men have been arrested and charged with harassing and making threats against alleged victims in the criminal case against R. Kelly.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced Richard Arline, Jr., Michael Williams, and Donnell Russell were arrested for allegedly attempting to harass, bribe, intimidate, and threaten the R&B singer's accusers.
Arline was arrested in Illinois and charged with attempting to bribe a victim with “something of value” between January and June of this year. Law enforcement obtained a wiretap, which allegedly reveals he offered a victim $500,000 to not cooperate with authorities.
Williams, a relative of Kelly’s former publicist, was arrested in Florida Tuesday and charged with attempting to use intimidation to threaten a victim — including “maliciously damaging and destroying a vehicle by means of fire and explosive,” according to court documents.
A separate complaint alleges Russell harassed and intimidated another victim in the case, as well as her mother online and through text messages under the alias “Colon Dunn.” He also allegedly threatened to reveal sexually explicit photographs of the victim and later sent her a warning text that read: "Pull the plug or you will be exposed."
Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme believes the defendants "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," adding their "efforts... will not be tolerated."
Steve Greenberg, Kelly's defense attorney, responded to the arrest records on Twitter, alleging he had "no involvement whatsoever."
Robert Kelly is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to a number of state and federal charges for sex-trafficking, racketeering, coercion, and other charges related to the abuse and exploitation of six women over the course of 25 years. He also faces a separate indictment in Chicago, for allegations regarding child pornography.
By Rachel George
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