R. Kelly, charged with sexually abusing underage victims, has turned himself in

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By David K. Li, Sarah Fitzpatrick and Elisha Fieldstadt

R&B singer R. Kelly turned himself in to Chicago police Friday night, hours after he was charged with multiple criminal counts of sexual abuse of several underage victims, police said.

Kelly took a van from his recording studio to a Chicago police precinct at about 8:15 p.m. CST, according to NBC Chicago. He was put under arrest about 15 minutes later, and was expected to appear in court for a bond hearing Saturday afternoon, said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Kelly, 52, faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago.

A bond hearing for Kelly is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, and his arraignment is set for March 8.

Steve Greenberg, R. Kelly’s attorney, told reporters late Friday, “Kelly is strong. He’s got a lot of support. And he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges.”

He said that he believed one of the accusers in the latest case was the same one involved in a previous acquittal, and that the artist shouldn’t have to face similar charges. “Double jeopardy should apply,” he said.

Greenberg alleged that the star’s accusers were trying to get on a “gravy train” to profit from his client.

The indictment released on Friday listed four victims, at least three of whom were under 17 at the time they were allegedly victimized by Kelly. They were identified only by initials in the court papers.

The alleged sex acts occurred between May 1998 and January 2010, prosecutors said.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx read Kelly’s indictment during a brief news conference but left without answering any questions.

Kelly’s arraignment is set for March 8.

He faces up to three to seven years in prison for each charge if convicted.

R. Kelly performs in Atlanta on Dec. 27, 2016.Prince Williams / WireImage file

California attorney Michael Avenatti said at a news conference Friday that he is representing a victim named in Friday’s indictment.

He also claimed to have uncovered a tape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The 40-minute-long videotape, turned over to Foxx earlier this month, allegedly shows Kelly engaging in various illegal sex acts in two separate occasions in the late 90s with a victim named in Friday’s indictment, the lawyer said.

He declined to say whether his client and the girl on the tape are one in the same.

“This tape leaves no question as to whether R. Kelly is guilty of multiple sexual, illegal acts against a 14-year-old girl,” he told reporters. “Repeatedly in the video, both the victim and Mr. Kelly, refer to the victim’s age as being 14.”

“I am highly confident that at the end of this journey, R. Kelly will be convicted on multiple counts,” Avenatti said.

Greenberg said he has not seen the video: “They’re walking around saying a tape exists. They can say whatever they want.”

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was criminally accused of sexual misconduct in 2002, eventually tried on child pornography charges in the same case and cleared by a jury in 2008 on all counts.

But allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer gained renewed attention this year with the airing of a Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” in early January.

The six-part show contains interviews with numerous women who accuse Kelly of mental, physical and sexual abuse. Sony Music parted ways with the Grammy-winning artist in the wake of “Surviving.”

The singer and his lawyers have consistently denied any wrongdoing in previous allegations made against him over the years.

Dennis Romero contributed.

source: nbcnews.com