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Man Lit SUV on Fire to Intimidate an R. Kelly Victim, Authorities Say


Robert Sylvester Kelly

There are more defendants in the ongoing criminal prosecution of Robert Sylvester Kelly, better known as the singer R. Kelly. Three men–Richard Aline Jr., Donnell Russell, and Michael Williams–are now accused of trying to silence or otherwise undermine alleged victims. One of them–Williams–allegedly lit an SUV on fire to intimidate a Jane Doe.

All told, Kelly is an allegedly prolific abuser of women and girls, using resources and intimidation to keep them quiet about what happened. This has resulted in federal charges in Illinois and New York, and a state case in Illinois.

The singer didn’t establish control by himself, authorities said. For example, in Kelly’s Illinois federal case, he and a former business manager allegedly tried to collect footage in which Kelly was abusing minors. They worked on paying hush money to people, and getting them to lie to investigators. (This co-defendant, Derrel McDavid, pleaded not guilty to charges, according to records viewed by Law&Crime. His case is going to trial.) Kelly is fighting all of his criminal cases.

In new cases out of the Eastern District of New York, Aline Jr., Russell, and William each allegedly tried to silence victims connected to the singer’s ongoing Brooklyn federal prosecution. Aline, for example, allegedly suggested paying a Jane Doe $500,000 in exchange for not cooperating with the government against Kelly.

Russell allegedly tried to intimidate one of the Jane Does connected to a civil lawsuit against Kelly, harassing her and her mother.

In the third case, a Jane Doe was staying at a home in Florida; Williams allegedly lit on fire a rented SUV outside the residence. The vehicle had been leased to Doe’s father, authorities said. Investigators claim Williams ended up Googling the statutory language for “witness intimidation” and “case law for tampering with a witness.”

Records do not show attorneys for the three defendants.

[Image via Antonio Perez – Pool via Getty Images]

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