A co-defendant of R&B singer and alleged sexual abuser Robert Sylvester Kelly pleaded guilty on Tuesday to bribery. Richard Arline, Jr. admitted in court that in May and June 2020, he tried to get a woman identified as Jane Doe to not go forward with testimony or give any electronic evidence against Kelly. He said that what he did was wrong, and he that is sorry.
Illinois federal and state prosecutors, as well as New York federal prosecutors, say Kelly was a prolific abuser of women and girls. He and his henchmen allegedly tried to clamp down on evidence of wrongdoing. For example, one manager allegedly called in a shooting threat to prevent a screening of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries; another man allegedly lit an SUV on fire outside of a victim’s home.
Arline’s case stems out of Kelly’s racketeering case out of Brooklyn. He reached out to Jane Doe, according to the criminal complaint. The woman responded at the direction of law enforcement. Eventually, they settled on a possible number of $300,000, but at the time, investigators said it was unclear if Kelly or others authorized Arline to negotiate. The bottom line, however, is that Arline tried to coordinate a bribe payment in exchange for her to not cooperate with law enforcement.
Authorities said they got evidence that Arline voiced concerns to a person identified as Individual 5 over what Doe knew.
“Rob, if I had talked to Rob on the phone and Rob got the money, he gonna pay [first name of Jane Doe] to be quiet,” Arline said in documents. “Like if I had a way to talk to Rob, being next to him, and telling him what’s going on, without nobody listening to, no feds, nobody, he gonna pay her ass off to be quiet. She got too much. She got too much.”
Sentencing is set for June 9.
[Image via via Antonio Perez – Pool via Getty Images]
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