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R. Kelly has been arrested on 13 federal sex crime charges

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Christobel Hastings
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R Kelly has been arrested on federal sex crime charges

The number of sexual assault allegations against R. Kelly is set to rise with the news that the disgraced R&B singer has been arrested in Chicago on federal sex trafficking charges.  

The path to prosecuting R. Kelly for alleged sex crimes has felt like a lifetime in the works. After two decades of filled with sexual assault allegations, the R&B singer was finally charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women in February, and an additional 11 sexual offences in May relating to sexual assault and abuse of a minor aged between 13 and 16.

Now, five months after the musician was released on bail, the singer has been arrested on federal sex charges.

R. Kelly, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was arrested in the evening of 11 July while walking his dog in Chicago by Homeland Security Investigation agents and NYPD Public Safety Task Force.

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According to the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago, a 13-count indictment has been filed against Kelly by the federal court for the Northern District of Illinois, which includes charges of child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice, although additional charges are expected to be announced later today.

Kelly, who is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, Chicago, will also face a separate five-count federal indictment filed by the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn on racketeering charges (fraudulent business dealings).

Meanwhile the singer’s representative, Darrell Johnson, said Kelly was defiant in the face of the indictment. “Mr. Kelly has declared his innocence from day one,” he said. “I’ve seen nothing, and I do mean nothing, that would lead to any type of guilt.”

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It’s not the first time Kelly has stood trial for sexual offences. In 2008, the singer was acquitted of child pornography charges after a video surfaced that reportedly showed him having sex with a 13-year-old girl. 

It is expected that Kelly will face charges first in Chicago before being extradited to Brooklyn, where, according to The New York Times, federal prosecutors are expected to unveil a separate indictment today.

Image: Getty

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.

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