R Kelly arrested: Singer charged with federal sex crimes, says US attorney

Kelly was bailed in February on state charges of sex abuse towards four women

Adam Withnall
Friday 12 July 2019 07:11
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The R&B star R Kelly has been arrested in Chicago and indicted over 13 federal charges that include child grooming.

Other charges relate to images of child sex abuse and obstruction of justice, says US attorney spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick.

The 52-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer was already facing state charges of sex abuse towards four women in Illinois, three of whom were minors when the alleged offences occurred.

Kelly has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the Illinois charges, and was released on bail.

The arrest on Thursday night was carried out by New York police detectives as well as investigators from the Department of Homeland Security, according to NBC News, and it is expected that Kelly will be brought to New York to face the charges. Chicago police referred questions on the arrest to the US attorney’s office or New York police.

The singer has strongly denied allegations of abuse for decades, and in 2008 he was tried and found not guilty of making a sex tape with an underage girl.

Kelly, best known for hits including “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Bump N’ Grind”, spent a weekend in jail on the Illinois sex charges before being released on $100,000 (£80,000) bail on 25 February.

Those charges were brought after seven women, including his ex-wife, appeared on a Lifetime television documentary and accused him of emotional and sexual abuse.

Then in June, prosecutors expanded the indictment against him to include 11 felony counts of sexual assault towards a single victim between the ages of 13 and 16.

The alleged abuse against a woman identified only as JP was said to have taken place between May 2009 and January 2010.

Kelly pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

Additional reporting by agencies

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