The troubled world of R Kelly
Details of the charges against R Kelly have been revealed, including kidnapping and that he and members of his entourage recruited women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Kelly, who denies all charges, appeared in court on Friday in Chicago dressed in an orange jumpsuit.
The only words he spoke during the 15-minute hearing were “yes, ma’am” to the judge and is due to attend a court hearing on Monday.
The R&B singer, who was already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, was charged over claims that he and his business manager paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and used physical abuse and blackmail to prevent girls and their relatives from providing evidence to police about his alleged sex acts with minors.
An indictment filed on Friday alleges that in Chicago he arranged for a girl and her parents to travel overseas so they could not speak to police before his 2002 indictment on 21 counts of child pornography.
The pornography case followed allegations that Kelly recorded a video of him engaging in sex acts with a girl who was 12 or 13 when they met.
It is alleged the payments continued after the 2008 trial and that Kelly also transferred the title on a luxury SUV to the girl in 2013.
In a separate indictment filed in New York, the singer faces charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labour and the sexual exploitation of a child.
Kelly’s managers, bodyguards and other assistants are accused of picking out women and girls at concerts and other venues and arranging for them to travel to see the singer.
It is also alleged they set rules the women and girls had to follow, including not leaving their rooms – even to eat or go to the bathroom – without Kelly’s permission, calling the singer “Daddy” and not looking at other men.
The indictment alleges that the criminal acts occurred over two decades dating back to 1999, both in the US and overseas.
Kelly is accused of engaging in sexual acts with girls under 18 and without disclosing that he had a sexually transmitted disease.
He is also charged with producing child pornography, including by asking minors to send him photographs.
The Chicago indictment alleges Kelly committed child sex crimes, including producing child pornography, and conspiracy to defraud the US government.
US Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said the R&B singer was walking his dog when he was taken into custody on Thursday evening.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons website says he was being held at the high-rise Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Chicago.
The arrest was the second time this year that Kelly has been taken into custody in Chicago on sex charges.
The 52-year-old Grammy winner, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was arrested in February on 10 counts of sexually abusing three girls and a woman.
He pleaded not guilty to those charges and was released on bail.
On 30 May, Cook County prosecutors added 11 more sex-related counts involving one of the women who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage. –bbc.com