CHICAGO — Singer R. Kelly is facing more legal woes after being arrested Thursday night in Chicago on federal sex crime charges. The Chicago native was reportedly arrested by Homeland Security agents and New York Police Department public safety officers and is expected to be brought to New York to face the new charges.
Kelly, 52, is already facing a legal battle after being charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Eleven additional charges were filed against the singer May 30 in Chicago.
Kelly is now charged with one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography, two counts of receiving child pornography, four counts of producing child pornography, five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The U.S. attorney’s office said Kelly is accused of engaging in sex acts with five minors and recording some of the abuse on multiple videos, along with “conspiring to intimidate victims and conceal evidence in an effort to obstruct law enforcement, including an investigation in the 2000s that resulted in his trial in 2008 in Cook County on state child pornography charges.”
Kelly is scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. Tuesday at an arraignment and detention hearing before U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber.
Two former employees of Kelly also face charges:
McDavid was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim at 11 a.m. Friday in Chicago, while Brown is scheduled to make an initial appearance before Kim on July 19, 2019.
Kelly faces separate federal indictments in Illinois and Brooklyn that were unsealed Friday morning. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Chicago on Friday and brought to Brooklyn at a later date for an arraignment on the five-count indictment there. Allegations in the indictment date back as far as 1999 and as recently as 2017.
The indictment alleges that the purpose of Kelly’s entourage, referred to as “The Enterprise,” was in part to “recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly” throughout the U.S. and abroad. The documents claim that women and girls recruited by the Enterprise were given wristbands to wear at events and that members of the Enterprise were there in part “to manage the flow of women and girls who were directly interacting with Kelly, “including transporting minors across state lines for the purpose of sexual activity.
The indictment alleges Kelly and the Enterprise forced an individual referred to as Jane Doe #2 “to go from one place to another with intent secretly to confine her against her will.”
Kelly is also accused of obtaining labor and services from Jane Does #3 and #5 “by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint and threats of physical restraint … by means of serious harm and threats of serious harm.”
Kelly and his entourage are also accused of producing child pornography and “committing, attempting and aiding and abetting the commission of crimes, including but not limited to engaging in sexual activity with girls under 18 years old.” The indictment also alleges Kelly and the Enterprise facilitated sexual activity between Kelly and the girls and women without disclosing a sexually transmitted disease the singer had contracted.
Enterprise members are accused of recruiting and grooming sexual partners for Kelly and isolating women and girls from their friends and family.
The indictment alleges that Kelly had “rules that many of his sexual partners were required to follow,” including:
Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg issued a statement Friday morning saying the R&B singer was arrested Thursday night while walking his dog, adding, “The agents were courteous and professional, as was Mr. Kelly.”
Greenberg said the conduct alleged in the new legal filings “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, adding, “Most, if not all the conduct alleged, is decades old.”
Greenberg said Kelly had been made aware of the accusations, and that the arrest did not come as a surprise, claiming that the new allegations are “an unprecedented assault by others for their personal gain.”
It’s not the first time Greenberg has claimed accusers were seeking personal gain by making allegations against Kelly. In February, he told reporters, “I think all the women are lying. This has become … ‘Hey, I can say R. Kelly did something. Boom.'”
R. Kelly spokesman Darrell Johnson also spoke to reporters Friday morning. Asked if Kelly is his most problematic client, Johnson told reporters, “I have clients all over the world. I have clients who’ve done all kinds of things. I’m a fixer. I’m a crisis manager.”
Allegations first surfaced against the singer this year after the release of the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly.” February’s 10-count indictment involved four victims, three of whom were minors, and incidents that took place between 1998 and 2010.
Kelly’s arrest came a month after the Illinois Department of Agriculture denied his application to perform in Springfield, citing sexual misconduct allegations and security concerns.
Kelly was released from jail in March, only to be arrested again at the end of May on new charges, including four class X felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two felony counts of criminal sexual assault by force and five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Kelly has spent years denying sex crime allegations. In 2008, the singer was acquitted of child pornography charges.
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