R. Kelly arrested on federal sex crime charges

Rachel Yang
R. Kelly arrested on federal sex crime charges

R. Kelly was arrested Thursday night on federal sex crime charges.

According to NBC New York, the 52-year-old singer was arrested in Chicago by NYPD detectives and Homeland Security Investigation agents on sex trafficking charges. It is expected he will be brought back to New York City.

U.S. attorney spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick told the Chicago-Sun Times that Kelly faces a 13-count sex crime indictment, as well as charges related to child pornography and obstruction of justice.

A spokesperson from the NPYD declined to comment to EW on the arrest, and Homeland Security could not be reached at this time. EW has also reached out to Kelly’s representatives for comment.

Further details regarding the case are expected to be announced Friday.

In February, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse by Chicago authorities. Three months later, he was charged with 11 additional counts of sexual assault and abuse against an underage victim.

Kelly has now been charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, all against a victim who was at least 13 and younger than 17 at the time the alleged abuse took place.

On Friday, Kelly’s lawyer released a statement, noting the charges were of no surprise to the singer.

“Mr. Kelly was aware of the investigations and the charges were not a surprise. He had already assembled a team of outstanding federal litigators,” said attorney Steve Greenberg. “He and his lawyers look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to the vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own personal gain. Most importantly he looks forward to being able to continue making wonderful music and perform for his legions of fans that believe in him.”

The R&B star has been accused of sexual abuse numerous times going back nearly two decades, with some of the alleged acts dating back to 1998. The January documentary Surviving R. Kelly documented the allegations through interviews with survivors, and it spurred a social media movement to #MuteRKelly and boycott his music. The public outcry over the doc led to Sony dropping Kelly from its label and past collaborators denouncing the artist.

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

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