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R. Kelly Associate Pleads Guilty to Bribing Witness Not To Testify

By: Leonard Greene, New York Daily News - Alberto Luperon, Law & Crime

Richard Arline Jr., of Dolton, Illinois, admitted in a Brooklyn Federal Court teleconference that he tried to pay off a woman — known in court documents only as Jane Doe — to stop her from sharing any electronic evidence against Kelly, who is awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Prosecutors said he offered the woman $500,000 on Kelly’s behalf.

“I knew what I did was wrong,” Arline, 31, told Judge Peggy Kuo during his guilty plea.

Illinois federal and state prosecutors, as well as New York federal prosecutors, say Kelly was a prolific abuser of women and girls. He and his henchmen allegedly tried to clamp down on evidence of wrongdoing. For example, one manager allegedly called in a shooting threat to prevent a screening of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries; another man allegedly lit an SUV on fire outside of a victim’s home.

Arline’s case stems out of Kelly’s racketeering case out of Brooklyn. He reached out to Jane Doe, according to the criminal complaint. The woman responded at the direction of law enforcement. Eventually, they settled on a possible number of $300,000, but at the time, investigators said it was unclear if Kelly or others authorized Arline to negotiate. The bottom line, however, is that Arline tried to coordinate a bribe payment in exchange for her to not cooperate with law enforcement.

Authorities said they got evidence that Arline voiced concerns to a person identified as Individual 5 over what Doe knew.

The Brooklyn federal trial — which has been repeatedly delayed due to COVID-19 — is now scheduled to start on April 7.

Kelly is being held in Chicago federal jail, where he is also awaiting a federal trial on child porn charges that will take place after his Brooklyn trial.

He also is charged with having sexual activity with three girls under the age of 18 and making child pornography, as well as with knowingly transferring herpes to a groupie.

Sentencing is set for June 9.

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