Singer R. Kelly arrested on federal sex crime charges

file photo - courtesy Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO, Ill. — Singer R. Kelly, already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, was arrested in Chicago Thursday on a federal grand jury indictment listing 13 counts including sex crimes and obstruction of justice.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said the R&B singer was taken into custody about 7 p.m. local time and was being held by federal authorities. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago.

He was arrested after the indictment was handed down earlier Thursday in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois.

“The counts include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that further details would be released Friday.

The arrest was the second time this year that Kelly has been taken into custody in Chicago on sex charges. The 52-year-old Grammy winner, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was arrested in February on 10 counts in Illinois involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not guilty to those charges and was released on bail.

Then on May 30, Cook County prosecutors added 11 more sex-related counts involving one of the women who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.

His attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment on the federal charges. Fitzpatrick said Kelly’s arraignment date and time had not yet been set.

Kelly has faced mounting legal troubles this year after Lifetime aired a documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which revisited allegations of sexual abuse of girls. The series followed the BBC’s “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes,” released in 2018, that alleged the singer was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”

Soon after the release of the Lifetime documentary, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said her office had been inundated with calls about the allegations in the documentary. Her office’s investigation led to the charges in February and additional counts added in May.

Kelly avoided prison after similar allegations were made more than a decade ago. A jury in 2008 acquitted him of child pornography charges that stemmed from a videotape, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor.

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