Singer R Kelly Arrested on More Sex Crime Charges

R. Kelly arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for an arraignment on sex-related felonies in Chicago in June. (AP photo/Amr Alfiky)

CHICAGO (CN) – Adding to R. Kelly’s pile of legal troubles, the R&B star was hit with federal sex crime charges in two jurisdictions this week.

Arrested in Chicago on Thursday night, Kelly, 52, was indicted on racketeering charges in Brooklyn on Wednesday and child pornography and sexual assault charges in Chicago on Thursday.

The first indictment from New York identifies five more alleged sexual abuse victims, three under 18 at the time of their accusations.

According to the charges, Kelly and his entourage of managers, bodyguards, drivers and assistants worked together to recruit women and girls into the singer’s ring of sexual abuse victims, one of whom also says she got a sexually transmitted disease from him.

Prosecutors say the team brought victims to Kelly’s concerts across the country, arranging their travel and giving them “instructions.” Those instructions included the victims having to stay in their rooms and get permission from Kelly to leave or go to the bathroom, wearing baggy clothes when not with Kelly, and calling him “daddy.”

The indictment says Kelly and his crew engaged in “demanding absolute commitment to Kelly and not tolerating dissent,” “recruiting and grooming sexual partners for Kelly,” and “isolating women and girls from friends and family.”

The second 13-count indictment from Illinois names two members of the entourage as defendants, business manager Derrel McDavid and associate Milton “June” Brown, claiming the two men helped Kelly in his scheme to cover up video tapes of himself having sex with minor girls.

Naming five victims from the late 1990s, they include “Minor 1,” the girl who allegedly appeared in the video that was the subject of the singer’s 2008 criminal child pornography charges, of which he was acquitted.

The new charges, for child pornography and sexual assault of minors, stem from four videos obtained by prosecutors that depict Kelly in sexual acts with the five victims, ages 12 to 17. Minor 1 appears in all four.

The Illinois indictment also says Kelly, McDavid and Brown paid off the girls, some of their parents and witnesses to keep quiet.

In 2001, Kelly and McDavid allegedly learned several tapes from the singer’s “collection” had gone missing. Prosecutors claim a girl identified as “Minor 2” was paid $250,000 to return a tape, and her and “Individual C” were paid another $100,000 for a second tape.

The crew found out in 2008 that “Individual B” planned to hold a press conference announcing that he too had one of the tapes and paid him $170,000 to cancel it, according to the indictment.

The indictment goes on to allege that Kelly and his associates paid Minor 1 and her family in money and gifts, including a car, over a period of 15 years, even coercing them into lying to police and a grand jury about what happened to her.

“It was further part of the conspiracy that Kelly used physical abuse, violence, threats of violence, blackmail and other controlling behaviors against victims,” the indictment states.

Prosecutors in both Illinois and New York have asked that Kelly be detained pending trial, calling him a flight risk and a significant threat to the community.

“Mr. Kelly was aware of the investigations and the charges were not a surprise,” the singer’s attorney, Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “He has already assembled a team of outstanding federal litigators. He and his lawyers look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to his vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own personal gain.”

A hearing took place Friday afternoon in Chicago regarding removing Kelly to New York to face his charges there. He will appear again Tuesday for his arraignment.

Kelly also faces 21 counts of criminal sexual assault in Illinois state court, with 10 charges initially filed against him in February and 11 more added in May, all of which he pleaded not guilty to.

A civil lawsuit was brought against the singer the same day he was charged in February, as one of his alleged victims echoed the stories of the other girls.

A motion to dismiss the complaint due to the statute of limitations is awaiting a court hearing.


%d bloggers like this: