An R. Kelly associate has pled guilty to attempting to bribe and discourage one of the singer’s alleged sex victims from testifying. As Page Six reported, during a virtual court hearing on Tuesday (Feb. 2), Richard Arline Jr. admitted to trying to silence one of the accusers with hush money.
“Me and another person offered Jane Doe money for her to not go forward with her complaint or testimony against Robert Kelly,” he said Arline Jr. “I knew what I did was wrong.”
Last year, Kelly plead not guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault, including four counts of aggravated sexual assault. Shortly after his indictment, an unidentified woman — who prosecutors believe was in a relationship with the vocalist — received a text message from the crooner’s accomplice that read, “Rob is trying to get his cousin rich in contact with you because he wants to pay you for silence.”
Arline then followed up with the woman during a phone call where he offered her $500,000, which she countered with $1 million.
Arline was also recorded expressing his concerns about the amount of information the accuser had against Kelly. “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,” he said. “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.”
The authorities listened to the recordings and eventually charged him, Donnell Russell and Michael Wilson with trying to harass, intimidate, threaten or corruptly influence accusers in the sex trafficking and racketeering trial.
Arline faces up to 15 years in prison.
Since being behind bars, prosecutors have mentioned Kelly’s “consistent pattern” of intimidating witnesses in his cases, specifically requesting that safety measures be taken to prevent any direct or indirect contact with his accusers.
“Simply put, the defendant’s past behavior reveals that if given the opportunity to influence a potential witness, the defendant will take it, and his incarceration may not be enough to prevent such conduct,” prosecutors wrote at the time.