R Kelly faces new Federal charges of sex crimes, cover up after being arrested in Chicago

An indictment unsealed Friday in the Eastern District of New York includes charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a child.


                            R Kelly faces new Federal charges of sex crimes, cover up after being arrested in Chicago

Singer R. Kelly, already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, is facing sweeping federal indictments that accuse him and members of his entourage of recruiting women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with the performer and later paying victims and witnesses to cover up his crimes.

An indictment unsealed Friday in the Eastern District of New York includes charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a child.

Kelly was arrested on Thursday, July 11, on 11 counts of federal sex crime charges – 13 charges in total – in Chicago. According to NBC Chicago, the 'I Believe I Can Fly' singer has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, child pornography and obstruction of justice and he will be brought to New York.

The aggravated criminal sexual assault charges alone could lead to a maximum of 30-year prison term sentence.

The 52-year-old singer, who was given the nicknames King of R&B and King of Pop Soul, was reportedly arrested by New York Police Department detectives and Department of Homeland Security agents. The sexual abuse allegations against Kelly date as far back as 1998, with more allegations coming out over the last two decades.

In 2008, a jury had acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges, based on a video which showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. The singer who was facing 15 years in prison for that charge, was let go after the woman in the video refused to testify and went on to deny that it was her.

Demonstrators gather near the studio of singer R. Kelly to call for a boycott of his music after allegations of sexual abuse against young girls were raised on the highly-rated Lifetime mini-series 'Surviving R. Kelly' on January 9, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty Images)

 

In January 2019, a docuseries titled 'Surviving R Kelly' aired on Lifetime, which detailed the many allegations of sexual abuse against Kelly. Soon after, his recording company RCA Records, dropped him, especially after the 'Mute R Kelly' campaign gained momentum. The singer was arrested in February and charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were allegedly minors when the abuse was inflicted on them. He had pleaded not guilty at the time and was released on bail from Chicago's Cook County Jail.

One month later, he was sent back to jail for failing to pay the $161,000 he owed his ex-wife Andrea Kelly in child support. On March 9, he was released again, after someone – who refused to be identified - paid the amount on his behalf.

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