Charlamagne, whose real name is Lenard Larry McKelvey, was 22 when he was arrested and charged for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl. The victim, Jessica Reid, is now attempting to reopen the case.
According to documents obtained by The Blast, the alleged incident took place in 2001. An old warrant for his arrest reveals Charlamagne was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the 2nd degree, and accused of “willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously engage [sic] in penile/vaginal intercourse with a fifteen year old female child.”
On June 9, 2001, South Carolina police responded to an alleged rape and encountered Reid and her friend, who both appeared intoxicated and confused. Here’s a summary of the police report, according to The Blast:
Reid was “crying uncontrollably” and her friend explained that someone had picked them up from a nearby residence and “gave them a liquid to drink” that one of the girls claimed “tasted like soda.”
Reid’s friend said the last thing she remembered was waking up “with a man trying to kiss her.” She told the officer she fought the man off, and then found Reid “in the room across from where she was, naked and crying stating that she had been raped.” The girl then called her mom, who called 911.
Due to Reid’s lack of cooperation with prosecutors, the case against Charlamagne was dropped in 2002, after he pled guilty to a lesser charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to three years of probation.
Per his own words, Charlamagne’s history of violence against women stems back to his teens. In a 2013 interview with VLAD TV, the host revealed he had assaulted his girlfriend when he was 16. “We all done put our hands on our chick, at some point,” he said when asked about Chris Brown and Rihanna’s relationship. “I’ve definitely put my hands on a girl before, and that’s something you learn from.”
That same year, McKelvey did an interview with DJ Akademiks where he discussed the rape accusation at length. Charlamagne said Reid was one of several girls he invited to his cousin’s graduation party, and claimed he left said party early. After hearing rumors about an alleged rape he claimed he went to the police department to take responsibility for purchasing the alcohol, and ended up being pinned for the assault.
In a new interview with Star from Star in the Morning, Reid, who is now 32, explained why she wants to reopen her case against Charlamagne. “I want people to know who he really is,” she said. “I just want closure in the whole situation.”
Her and Charlamagne’s accounts differ heavily. Reid claims she and Charlamagne were good friends at the time, and that the party was a beach party, not the graduation celebration he described in 2013. She claims Charlamagne gave her and her friend several drinks before sexually assaulting her.
Reid said it was her mother’s decision not to go to court against Charlamagne, one she now regrets. “My life has never been the same since that night,” she said. “I don’t want nothing from him, but there is still a part of me that’s upset because he took something from me.”
TMZ now reports that Charlamagne's lawyers are vehemently claiming he has DNA evidence that proves his innocence. In court documents and per his own 2013 account, Charlamagne did provide his DNA to investigators at the time of his arrest, which did not provide evidence he was sexually involved with Reid.
His lawyers Marty Singer and Michael Weinsten told TMZ, "More than seventeen years ago, Charlamagne was accused of a sexual assault. He never had sexual relations or any physical contact with the accuser and even provided DNA to prove it. At the time of these claims, Charlamagne cooperated fully with authorities, and after the investigation, this charge against him was dropped. Charlamagne has spoken about this many times over the years in public, including in his book. While Charlamagne has empathy for all sexual assault victims, he cannot take responsibility for a crime he did not commit.”
In the state of South Carolina, there is no statute of limitations on prosecution for criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
Complex has reached out to Charlamagne's legal team.