Singer R.Kelly was arrested in Chicago by Homeland Security Investigations agents and NYPD Public Safety Task Force Thursday, July 11 on federal sex charges. The 52-year-old stepped outside for a smoke break and to walk his dog when he was taken into custody around 7 p.m., a law enforcement source familiar with the case said. According to the Federal Prisons Bureau website, the Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
An attorney for Kelly, Steve Greenberg confirmed his arrest. “The agents were courteous and professional, as was Mr. Kelly,” he said. “The conduct alleged appears to largely be the same as the conduct previously alleges against Mr. Kelly in his current State indictment and his former State charges that he was acquitted of,” Greenberg added. “Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, is decades old.”
Kelly has separate federal indictments filed in both Chicago and Brooklyn-and no victim overlap in the case, authorities said. The Chicago native made his initial court appearance Thursday night. An indictment opened in the Eastern District of New York Friday charges Kelly with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child.
Read the full NYC indictment here.
In federal court on Thursday, a 13-count indictment was handed down for the Northern District of Illinois and includes charges of child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. Kelly did not enter a plea for the Northern District of Illinois or Eastern District of New York indictments. He is scheduled to be arraigned this coming Tuesday for the Illinois indictment, and the issues of how he will be detained and moved back to New York will be addressed in court that day as well.
While the singer and his lawyers are hoping that he will be released from custody, federal prosecutors stated in a detention memo filed in Illinois Friday, July 12 that Kelly shouldn’t be granted bail before trial. Greenberg said that his client already has a team of “outstanding” federal litigators and was not surprised by the new charges. “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. Most importantly, he looks forward to being able to continue to making wonderful music and perform for his legions of fans that believe him.”
Kelly’s crisis manager, Darrell Johnson, says the singer’s legal team was expecting the indictment to happen but doesn’t know what the charges are yet. Johnson, who has been working with Kelly for six months, claims that Kelly is in high spirits as he awaits trial. “Mr. Kelly has declared his innocence from day one,” said Johnson. “I’ve seen nothing, and I do mean nothing, that would lead to any type of guilt.”
This isn’t the first time Kelly has made headlines regarding sexual abuse allegations; several alleged acts date back to 1998. In February, he was charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors at the time the alleged abuse occurred. Kelly pleaded not guilty and was released from Chicago’s Cook County Jail after posting bail. In 2008, a jury acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges stemming from a tape showing him having sexual intercourse with a girl as young as 13, prosecutors claimed at the time. Kelly faced 15 years in prison for that charge, but the young girl in the case denied that it was her and did not testify.
Source: NBC New York