R. Kelly arrested in Chicago on federal sex trafficking charges
R. Kelly was arrested by Homeland Security agents and NYPD detectives in Chicago on charges of sex trafficking on Thursday night.
The R&B singer, already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, was arrested on a federal grand jury indictment listing 13 counts including sex crimes and obstruction of justice.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said Kelly was taken into custody about 7 p.m. local time and was being held by federal authorities. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
“The counts include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice,” Fitzpatrick said.
On Friday, Steve Greenberg, one of Kelly’s lawyers, tweeted a statement regarding the arrest:
“[Kelly] and his lawyers look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to his vindication,” read the letter in part. “He looks forward to being able to continue making wonderful music and perform for his legions of fans that believe in him.”
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The 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.
Then on May 30, Cook County prosecutors added 11 more sex-related counts involving one of the women who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.
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His attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment on the federal charges. Fitzpatrick said Kelly’s arraignment date and time had not yet been set.
News of the new charges comes weeks after Kelly’s lawyers sought to have a Chicago judge dismiss a lawsuit that alleged the artist sexually abused a minor in 1998.
Kelly’s lawyers have argued that she could only have sued up until 2002.
The plaintiff in that lawsuit is one of four people who have accused Kelly of criminal sexual abuse in a separate criminal case.
Kelly has denied the allegations.
The New York Times noted that Kelly was charged with 10 counts in February and that more state charges were filed against him three months later.
— With files from The Associated Press
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