R. Kelly has been arrested on a federal sex trafficking charges, making it the second time he’s been taken into custody on such indictments this year.
The singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was walking his dog in Chicago Thursday night when he was detained by Homeland Security agents and New York Police Department detectives on two separate charges, ABC 7 reported. The troubled star is expected to appear in federal court Friday and is currently being held by federal authorities at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
Kelly’s July 11 arrest is the first time he’s faced federal charges. It follows a 13-count indictment being handed down against him in the Northern District of Illinois at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago. Among the accounts are obstruction of justice, child pornography and enticement of a child.
Separately, Kelly faces racketeering charges stemming from a five-count indictment from the Eastern District of New York. On Friday morning, federal authorities conducted a search in the R&B crooner’s apartment in Chicago’s Trump Tower, ABC News reported.
Kelly’s publicist, Darrell Johnson, told The Associated Press he plans to make a public statement about the newest developments surrounding his client at a news conference in Atlanta Friday morning.
Steve Greenberg, the star’s lawyer told the AP Friday that federal agents arrested Kelly on charges out of Illinois and New York. The attorney said his client hopes to be released after a bail hearing set for early next week.
In a set of unsealed indictment docs from the Eastern District of New York, Kelly has been charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a child.
The papers charge that the singer, his managers, bodyguards and other staff members recruited girls and women at concerts. Recalling the allegations that emerged against him after longtime Kelly biographer wrote up an explosive 2017 report, the docs also say there were rules the alleged victims had to follow in Kelly’s home. Among them was the fact that the girls and women had to get Kelly’s permission to eat or use the bathroom. They were also allegedly required to call the singer “Daddy” and could not look at other men; instead, they were required to keep their heads down.
This marks the second time in the past five months that Kelly has been arrested on such charges. In February, Kelly was arrested and charged on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four women with the majority of the alleged victims being minors at the time the supposed abuse occurred.
In May, 11 new charges were brought against the 52-year-old with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault being among them. Kelly pleaded not guilty in a Chicago court on those charges back in June.
“It’s the same case. It’s just that they’ve just changed what they’ve charged him with,” said Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg to the AP of the 11 new charges compared to those levied against the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer in February. “It’s the same facts … the same bond, the same evidence. We expect the same result.”
In recent years, R. Kelly’s reported sex crimes began bubbling up as women began breaking their non-disclosure agreements to levy allegations of sexual abuse against the star. Last year’s Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” also called attention to the women who claim the star sexually abused them.
Throughout this time, however, Kelly has maintained his innocence. That culminated in an impassioned interview on “CBS This Morning” in March.