R. Kelly was arrested on federal sex charges Thursday night nearly five months after he was released on bail for additional sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
The 52-year-old was arrested in Chicago by Homeland Security Investigations agents and NYPD Public Safety Task Force, officials told News 4. R. Kelly had stepped out for a smoke and to walk his dog when he was taken into custody around 7 p.m. local time, a law enforcement source familiar with the case said.
He was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, according to the Federal Prisons Bureau website.
Steve Greenberg, an attorney for Kelly confirmed Thursday’s arrest, adding “the agents were courteous and professional, as was Mr. Kelly.”
“The conduct alleged appears to largely be the same as the conduct previously alleges against Mr. Kelly in his current State indictment and his former State charges that he was acquitted of,” Greenberg said. “Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, is decades old.”
There are separate federal indictments filed in both Chicago and Brooklyn — and no victim overlap in the cases, authorities said. Kelly made his initial court appearance Thursday night and faces another hearing Friday related to his extradition to New York City to face the additional charges. An indictment unsealed in the Eastern District of New York Friday charges him with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child. Read the full NYC indictment here.
A 13-count indictment was handed down Thursday in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois and includes charges of child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice.
Greenberg said Kelly already has a team of “outstanding” federal litigators and was not surprised by the new charges.
“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. Most importantly he looks forward to being able to continue to making wonderful music and perform for his legions of fans that believe him.”
A bail hearing will be held early next week, at which time Greenberg says Kelly hopes to be released from custody. Federal prosecutors said in a detention memo filed in Illinois Friday that Kelly should be granted no bail pending trial.
The singer’s crisis manager, Darrell Johnson, says his legal team was expecting the indictment to happen but he doesn’t know what the charges are yet. Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was in high spirit as he awaits his trial, according to Johnson.
“Mr. Kelly has declared his innocence from day one,” said Johnson, who says he has been working with the R&B star for six months. “I’ve seen nothing, and I do mean nothing, that would lead to any type of guilt.”
Andrea Kelly, the singer’s ex-wife, had no comment following the arrest, her rep said. Source: NBC NY