R. Kelly pal gets prison for torching accuser’s car to keep her quiet

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R. Kelly pal gets prison for torching accuser's car to keep her quiet

An “associate” of disgraced pop star R. Kelly has been hit with an eight-year prison sentence for torching an SUV outside the home of one of the singer’s accusers, federal prosecutors said.

Michael Williams, 38, pleaded guilty to setting the vehicle on fire in June 2020 outside the Florida home of “Jane Doe,” one of several accusers at Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial, the US Attorneys Office announced Wednesday.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was convicted in Brooklyn federal court in September and is due to be sentenced in May.

Williams pleaded guilty to the arson charges in April, admitting he sought to dissuade the victim from cooperating against Kelly.

“In a violent act designed to instill fear and stop a witness from testifying at trial, Williams set fire to the victim’s vehicle in the middle of the night while it was parked outside of a residence occupied by four adults and two children,” Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

Michael Williams, 38, pleaded guilty in April to arson for setting a car on fire outside the woman’s home before she was set to testify in Kelly’s racketeering trial.
Michael Williams pleaded guilty to arson for setting a car on fire outside the Florida home of “Jane Doe,” one of R. Kelly’s accusers.
Court records
"Jane Doe" testified at Kelly's sex abuse trial on Aug. 24, 2021.
“Jane Doe” testified at Kelly’s sex abuse trial on Aug. 24, 2021.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

“Intimidating witnesses and threatening the safety of crime victims undermine the very fabric of our judicial system and will not be tolerated,” Peace added.

Michael Williams
Michael Williams was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office

According to prosecutors, Williams snuck up on the Florida home on June 11, 2020, and poured accelerant around the SUV, then set it on fire.

Investigators determined that Williams had searched online for details on the “detonation properties of fertilizer and diesel fuel” before the incident.

The ruse failed, as the woman was among the victims who testified against Kelly.

The 54-year-old “I Believe I Can Fly” crooner was convicted of racketeering and violations of the Mann Act for transporting women and teenagers across state lines.

Kelly was accused of a decades-long pattern of sexual abuse that included holding his victims hostage and submitting them to humiliating sex acts and assault.

He faces a prison sentence of 10 years to life.

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