On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced the charges against Donnell Russell, 45, a one-time manager of Kelly; Richard Arline, 31, a suspected friend of the singer, and Michael Williams, 37.
Announcing the charges in New York, Homeland Security investigator, Peter Fitzhugh, was quoted as saying: “The men charged today allegedly have shown that there is no line they will not cross to help Kelly avoid the consequences of his alleged crimes — even if it means re-victimizing his accusers.”
It is not known if the three men worked in concert but at least, two of them threatened to unleash physical and emotional violence against said women.
Russell is accused of having threatened to release a nude photo of one of Kelly’s alleged victims if she goes ahead to cooperate with investigators. Prosecutors say, Russell, at a point, sent a cropped nude photo of the woman to her lawyer with the message: “Pull the plug or you will be exposed.”
Arline is also accused of offering as much as $500,000 to one of the women who knows “too much” to keep her from talking. Both Arline and Russell know R. Kelly from Illinois.
On his part, Williams, traveled from Georgia to Florida to torch a vehicle on the street where one of Kelly’s alleged victims lived – an action investigators believe was a threat.
When he was arrested, investigators found that Williams had searched the Internet for “the detonation properties of fertilizer and diesel fuel, witness intimidation and witness tampering and countries that do not have extradition with the United States.”
R. Kelly’s attorneys have so far denied any connection to the actions of the three men.
The multiple Grammy-award winning RnB singer is facing several counts of sexual assault, as well as, sleeping with underage girls. He has also been indicted on a charge of racketeering enterprise where young girls were supplied to Kelly.