A witness has come forward to corroborate claims from two accusers who publicly accused R&B star R. Kelly of plying them with alcohol and marijuana during a mid-'90s Baltimore hotel room encounter that they say ended with the statutory rape of one of them.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who says she represents multiple accusers of Kelly, introduced Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington at a February press conference in New York. The women told reporters that Kelly sexually assaulted one of them when they were too young and too drunk to consent.
"When I first met R. Kelly that night, I was very happy and excited because I was young and starstruck," Scaff said. "Now that I am an adult, I feel hurt by what he did to me when I was only 16 years old and under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. …
"I am speaking out because I want to encourage other victims who I know must be out there to come forward as well. I want justice for anyone who is a victim of R. Kelly."
A witness, identified by CBS Baltimore as Sabrina, said she instantly recognized the victims from 23 years ago after they came forward last month. Sabrina told the local news station that she remembered seeing Scaff stumble out of an elevator in 1996, because she too was invited to the hotel by Kelly.
"You could clearly see that she was in pain. … She couldn’t walk," Sabrina told WJZ after reuniting with the victims. "She was bent over walking alongside the wall. And she began to tell me she was in a room with R. Kelly and, you know, they had sex. It was very rough."
She continued: "(Kelly) left her on the bed and said that he would come back. He never came back. Security came and told her Robert was waiting for her in the lobby."
Scaff and Washington said they met Kelly at a party after one of his concerts in Baltimore, when Scaff was 16 and Washington was 15. They were offered alcohol, cocaine and marijuana by a man in Kelly's entourage, they said, and were invited to Kelly's hotel room.
The women said were told to wait for him with their dresses pulled up. When he came in, they said, his penis was visible over the top of his jeans. While Washington fled to the bathroom, Kelly got on the bed with Scaff and asked her to perform oral sex.
"I was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and did it," she said. "He then had sexual intercourse with me even though I did not have the capacity to consent."
Allred said Scaff, now 40, and Washington, 39, who live in Maryland, were to meet with federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York "to provide them with information relative to their ongoing investigation of R. Kelly."
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District in New York declined through a spokesman to confirm or deny or comment about the existence of any investigation.
In addition to telling friends and family about the alleged nature of their encounter with Kelly, Scaff said they also called a Baltimore radio station to say they were in Kelly's hotel room right before he entered.
"The radio station said, 'Call us back. If your number matches the hotel where we know he stays, then we will put you on the radio.' We did call back and the radio station saw the number of the hotel and put Rochelle and I live on the radio," Scaff said. "Many people heard us."
Allred also showed a picture of the two as teens that she said was taken on the night in question.
Allred said the women's story follows an alleged "pattern of conduct" by Kelly in which young women are singled out to meet the star, plied with alcohol and drugs and isolated in a room. Then he enters and engages in "shocking sexual misconduct while his alleged victims are incapacitated and unable to provide any meaningful consent to his sexual advances," Allred said.
"To R. Kelly I am sending this message: You have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide," Allred said. "Your victims are now surrounding you and crying out for justice. … It is time for you to face the consequences of what you have done in our system of justice."
Allred said her two clients, as well as others of her clients, are afraid that their alleged encounters with Kelly were recorded and that old videos may now be circulating without their consent.
Attorney Michael Avenatti handed over two tapes of Kelly to Chicago police, one of which has resulted in 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against the R&B star.
Steve Greenberg, Kelly's Chicago attorney, did not return a message from USA TODAY. He has said repeatedly in recent weeks that Kelly denies all allegations of underage sex or sex without consent.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: R. Kelly: Witness corroborates accusers' hotel room encounter when they were teens