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R. Kelly faces five counts for racketeering and child sex crimes

R. Kelly faces five counts for racketeering and child sex crimes


R. Kelly faces five counts for racketeering and child sex crimes


R&B singer R. Kelly arrives at the 1st District-Central police station on February 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Singer R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago on Thursday on a federal grand jury indictment listing 13 counts including sex crimes, child pornography and obstruction of justice. Kelly is already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors in February.

The R&B singer was taken into custody at about 7 p.m. local time and was being held by federal authorities, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick. Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

He was arrested after the indictment was handed down earlier Thursday in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois.

“Robert Kelly was arrested by federal agents last night while walking his dog,” Kelly’s lawyer Steven Greenberg said in a statement Friday. “A bail hearing will be held early next week, at which time Mr. Kelly hopes to be released from custody.”

On Friday, a law enforcement official said Kelly also faces five counts in New York for racketeering and Mann Act violations, which involve transporting someone with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, including with minors.

Thursday’s arrest was the second time this year that Kelly has been taken into custody in Chicago on sex charges.

The 52-year-old Grammy winner, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was arrested in February on 10 counts in Illinois involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not guilty to those charges and was released on bail.

In May, Cook County prosecutors added 11 more sex-related counts involving one of the women who accused Kelly of sexually abusing her when she was a minor.

Darrell Johnson, a publicist for Kelly, told the Associated Press that he planned to deliver a statement about the latest developments at a Friday morning news conference in Atlanta. He declined to comment ahead of that time.

Fitzpatrick, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Kelly’s arraignment date and time had not yet been set.

“Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, is decades old,” Kelly’s lawyer said. “He and his lawyers look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to his vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own personal gain.”

Kelly has faced mounting legal troubles this year after Lifetime aired a documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which revisited allegations of sexual abuse of girls. The series followed the BBC’s “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes,” released in 2018, that alleged the singer was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”

Soon after the release of the Lifetime documentary, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said her office had been inundated with calls about the allegations in the documentary. Her office’s investigation led to the charges in February and additional counts added in May.

Kelly has been the subject of a number of sexual abuse allegations for nearly two decades, with some of the alleged acts dating back to 1998.

He avoided prison after similar allegations were made more than a decade ago. A jury in 2008 acquitted him of child pornography charges that stemmed from a videotape, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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