Fallen R&B star R. Kelly was reportedly out walking his dog in Chicago and on Thursday evening when authorities arrested him on federal sex crime charges.
Kelly, 52, had stepped outside to enjoy a cigarette and to take his pet for a stroll when investigators with the NYPD Public Safety Task Force and agents with the Department of Homeland Security took him into custody at around 7 p.m., an unnamed law enforcement official told NBC New York. The embattled singer is now the subject of separate federal indictments filed in both Chicago and Brooklyn, and is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, according to the outlet.
Kelly’s arrest comes on the heels of an indictment filed earlier Thursday in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Associated Press reports. U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick told the outlet that the counts against Kelly include “child porn, enticement of a minor, and obstruction of justice,” and that more charges are expected to be released Friday.
Kelly is also the subject of a separate indictment containing even more charges, which federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are planning to release on Friday, The New York Times reports, citing unnamed law enforcement sources. Although his arraignment in Chicago’s federal court is set for Friday, the singer is reportedly expected to be extradited to New York to face those additional charges.
Kelly is already facing a slew of sex-related charges, having first been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse in February before being hit with another 11 sex-related counts in May. Prosecutors allege that Kelly sexually abused numerous underage girls and women, with allegations dating as far back as the 1990s. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and has steadfastly denied the claims.
Kelly’s crisis manager, Darrell Johnson, brought up the subject of Kelly’s repeated denials early Friday, according to NBC News.
“When you’re innocent of charges — and Mr. Kelly has declared his innocence — in America, you know and I know, that you’re innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “And he’s said many times that he’s innocent.”
Allegations of sexual misconduct have followed Kelly throughout his decades-long career. Kelly was accused in 2008 of sexually assaulting and urinating on an underage girl, and videotaping the encounter, but was acquitted of child pornography charges after the alleged victim refused to testify.
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