R&B singer R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges on Thursday night, NBC New York reported. The 13-count federal indictment, which was unsealed Friday, includes charges of child pornography, kidnapping, enticement of a minor, and obstruction of justice.
The charges allege that the 52-year-old musician and his associates (managers, bodyguards, assistants) recruited women and girls at concerts, arranged travel for them to see Kelly, and set rules that the fans had to follow, including not being allowed out of their rooms without permission, having to wear baggy clothing, and requiring them to call the singer “Daddy.” The new indictments brought against Kelly were filed in both NYC and Chicago.
Kelly was arrested by New York police detectives and Homeland Security Investigations agents outside his Chicago home on Friday night. The arrest comes about five months after Kelly was released on bail for state sexual assault charges in Illinois.
"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," Steve Greenberg, an attorney for Kelly, told NBC. "Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, is decades old."
The platinum R&B artist has a decades-long history of sexual abuse allegations dating back to 1998. In February, Kelly was released on bail after pleading not guilty to aggravated sexual abuse charges involving four accusers, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged abuse.
In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges associated with a video of the singer statutory raping a girl prosecutors claimed to be as young as 13. The young woman in the claim refused to testify and denied it was her; Kelly was otherwise facing 15 years in prison for the charge.
The singer’s behavior and actions have faced increased scrutiny this year, since Lifetime aired Surviving R. Kelly, a documentary series revisiting the numerous sexual abuse allegations against him. In 2018, BBC’s “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes” alleged Kelly was running a “sex cult” and holding women against their will.
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Source: Refinery29 – Tiffany Diane Tso