Prosecutors urged alleged R. Kelly victims to come forward in a press conference on Tuesday night following the airing of "Surviving R. Kelly," in which several women accused the singer of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Cook County, Ill., state attorney Kim Foxx told reporters (via TMZ), "The recent allegations against entertainer R. Kelly in a recent Lifetime docuseries are deeply, deeply disturbing. It is our job at the Cook County state attorney's office to investigate claims in the interest of justice and of public safety. I should stress that it takes courage to re-live and re-experience trauma by telling your story of sexual victimization, but we rely heavily on victim accounts and witness statements to prosecute cases involving sexual assault and domestic violence."
"I'm here today to encourage victims of sexual assault or domestic violence related to these allegations to please get in touch with our office. The number to call is 773-674-6492. There are dedicated professionals in our witness unit who do this work on a daily basis and can work with you through this process," Foxx continued. "Please come forward. There is nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you."
Kelly has been accused of holding women and girls against their will in Chicago, where he has a recording studio, and Georgia, where he has property.
The docuseries also claimed that he preyed on and had sexual relations with underage girls who he kept in an alleged "sex cult."
R. Kelly has maintained his innocence since allegations of abuse first emerged. The singer's attorney, Steven Greenberg, told the Associated Press that the "Surviving R. Kelly" accusations were false, and simply "another round of stories [being used to] fill reality TV time." He added that it was inappropriate for a D.A. to characterize allegations she'd seen on TV before actually filing charges or launching an investigation into the claims.
He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 after he was accused of making a sex tape with a 14-year-old girl.
Meanwhile, Timothy Savage, who appeared in "Surviving R. Kelly" with his wife, alleged that Kelly threatened him for being involved with the docuseries.
A Henry County, Ga., police report obtained by the Associated Press says Savage told an officer on Jan. 3 that Don Russell had texted him saying it would be best for him and his family if the documentary didn't air.
The report claims Russell called Savage while the officer was there and Savage put the phone on speaker. Russell accused Savage of lying to Lifetime and that if he continued to support the series, Russell and Kelly would be forced to release information that would show Savage was a liar.
Contact information for Russell could not be immediately found.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.