Federal charges have been filed against three men who were allegedly harassing and threatening R. Kelly accusers. The U.S. Department of Justice referred to the actions of each of the men as “separate schemes” in a statement.
According to the criminal complaint filed and reported in Billboard, Michael Williams, 37, went to Florida to light a car on fire to frighten and intimidate one of the victims. The SUV was set ablaze outside of the home where she was staying.
Williams is a relative of Kelly’s former publicist.
“Cell site records, surveillance footage, toll records and photographs, and Williams’s Internet searches for the victim’s address, revealed that Williams had driven from Georgia to the Florida residence,” read the statement.
Before embarking on the trip Williams searched for information “about the detonation properties of fertilizer and diesel fuel, witness intimidation and witness tampering, and countries that do not have extradition with the United States.”
He was arrested in Pompano Beach, Florida. He is being charged “with maliciously damaging and destroying a vehicle by means of fire and an explosive.”
Richard Arline, Jr., 31, is being accused of bribing a victim with $500,000 to try to prevent her from cooperating with prosecutors as well as intentionally providing her with “misleading information” to influence her actions. He was heard on a wiretap saying that “if I had a way to talk to Rob [Kelly], being next to him, and telling him what’s going on, without nobody listening to, no feds, nobody, he gonna pay her . . . off to be quiet.”
“She got too much,” he added during the recorded call.
Donnell Russell, 45, “a self-described manager, adviser and friend of Kelly,” according to the complaints, reportedly threatened to distribute sexually explicit photographs of a woman who sued Kelly for alleged abuse. He also reportedly threatened to reveal intimate details of her sexual history with the public. He is being charged with using “mail, telephones and the Internet to harass and intimidate Jane Doe, an alleged victim in the Kelly case, and her mother.”
Kelly is facing multiple federal charges of sexual misconduct. He is also facing a number charges at the state level in Illinois, Minnesota and New York. He has pleaded not guilty.
Steve Greenberg, a member of Kelly’s defense team, claimed that Kelly had no involvement in the intimidation or threats being levied against his accusers.
“He hasn’t attempted to intimidate anyone, or encouraged anyone else to do so,” wrote Greenberg on Twitter.