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R. Kelly arrested, again, this time of federal charges

Illinois, New York

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 7/12/2019, 11:12 a.m.
R&B singer R. Kelly was arrested again, this time for...
R. Kelly mugshot

R&B singer R. Kelly was arrested again, this time for federal sex trafficking charges on Thursday night, according to multiple news sources. Kelly is expected to be brought to New York for trial, following his arrest in Chicago by NYPD detectives and Homeland Security agents, reports Variety.

The arrest includes a new 13-count indictment, some charges of which are related to child pornography and obstruction of justice. A separate five-count indictment has been handed up from the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn that charges him with racketeering, according to ABC News. The singer is expected to face charges in Chicago before being extradited to Brooklyn. He is being held at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, according to U.S. Bureau of Prisons records cited by the Chicago Tribune.

The 52-year-old singer was arrested at around 7 p.m. local time in Chicago, according to U.S. attorney spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick. Kelly attorney Steve Greenberg confirmed the arrest via Twitter early Friday morning. “Robert Kelly was arrested by federal agents last night while walking his dog,” the statement reads in part. “The charges arose from alleged conduct in the Northern District of Illinois as well as the Eastern District of New York. The conduct alleged appears to be largely the same as the conduct previously alleged against Mr. Kelly in his current state indictment and his former state charges that he was acquitted of.

Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, was decades old.” Greenberg added that a bail hearing will be held early next week, “at which time Mr. Kelly hopes to be released from custody.” Kelly’s rep, Darrell Johnson, told NBC News that the singer maintains his innocence and is “looking forward to his day in court.”

The Chicago Tribune also reported that Kelly’s former manager, Derrel McDavid, and employee Milton Brown also were indicted on allegations they helped Kelly pay to recover child-pornography tapes and pressure witnesses in Kelly’s 2008 trial. Kelly has been at the center of a number of sexual abuse allegations for nearly two decades, with some accusations dating back to the late 1990s. More recently, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse in February, only to be hit with 11 more counts of sexual assault and sexual assault in May.

Four of the counts charged Kelly with aggravated criminal sexual assault — a Class X felony, which carries six to 30 years in prison if the accused is convicted. Three of the new counts also accused the singer of sexually abusing a victim between the ages of 13 and 16 in 2010. The singer previously pleaded not guilty to the first series of allegations, for which he was bailed on a $1 million bond. Kelly faced similar charges in 2000 when he was charged with participating in child pornography after a video surfaced allegedly showing him having sex with an underage woman.