R Kelly charged with sex crimes after ‘paying 17-year-old girl to dance naked in hotel room’

Alleged incident took place inside singer’s hotel room before concert, says attorney

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 06 August 2019 08:36
R Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on 26 June, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
R Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on 26 June, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

R Kelly has been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution from someone under the age of 18 in Minnesota.

The alleged incident took place in July 2001, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office via the StarTribune.

Mike Freeman, an attorney for the county, said the alleged incident occurred when a fan tried to get an autograph from Kelly before a concert.

He claims that Kelly gave the girl, who was 17 at the time, his phone number, and told her to go to his hotel room when she called him.

The complaint alleges that when she met Kelly, the two talked before he gave her $200 to dance for him, took off her clothes and then his, and touched her sexually while she danced.

Kelly then allegedly gave her VIP tickets to his concert, which enabled her to attend without paying or having to show her ID (the concert was 18+).

The girl said she discussed going to Chicago with Kelly but the two lost contact after he changed the number he had given her.

After allegations surfaced against Kelly in January this year, she contacted law enforcement to report the encounter.

Attorneys corroborated some of her account with her brother, who saw her at Kelly’s 2001 concert and confirmed that she told him she had been paid to dance for the singer.

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He said that she didn’t go into detail and he did not press her because she seemed uncomfortable talking about it.

“It is despicable that Mr. Kelly used his fame in order to prey on underaged girls,” Freeman said in a statement.

“While there are more numerous charges in the Illinois and federal cases, we wanted to make sure that our victim here in Minneapolis also receives a measure of justice.”

He told TwinCities.com that the three-year statute of limitations doesn’t apply to Kelly since he did not remain in Minnesota.

Doug Anton, one of Kelly’s attorneys, responded to the latest charges with the statement: “Frankly I don’t understand where the criminal activity exists in this matter. But I believe this highlights what has now become the absurdity of the bulk of the charges against our client.

“When a top law-enforcement figure makes a public cry for the world to come and be famous by telling their sordid story, true or not, it inherently invites people to create revisionist history and put a different label on simple fan rock star encounters.”

The StarTribune, which learnt of the alleged incident via a tip line, reports it is unclear if the R&B singer will make an appearance there.

Last week, Kelly pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering and sex trafficking in a Brooklyn federal court. The judge in the case denied Kelly’s bail, declaring him a flight risk.

Kelly is also facing federal charges in Chicago for child pornography, enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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