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Now Even the Feds Have Come for R. Kelly

The singer was arrested Thursday night on federal child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

by Tim Marcin
Jul 12 2019, 1:02pm

The charges against singer R. Kelly are piling up.

Already facing state charges of aggravated sexual assault and abuse, Kelly was arrested by federal agents in Chicago on Thursday evening over a 13-count indictment that includes sex crimes and obstruction of justice.

“The counts include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said, via the Associated Press.

Thursday’s arrest marks the first time Kelly has faced federal charges. Kelly’s team has yet to say much about them.

"Yes, he's been arrested," Kelly's spokesman Darrell Johnson told USA Today, declining to comment further before saying he’d hold a press conference on Friday.

The 52-year-old, whose real name is Robert S. Kelly, could soon face even more legal trouble. The New York Times, citing two unnamed law enforcement officials, reported that federal prosecutors in Brooklyn were set to unveil a new indictment on Friday.

The Times reported that Kelly would eventually be brought to New York to face those charges but it was unclear when that might happen. CBS News reported the New York Eastern District was expected to file racketeering charges.

Kelly’s recent legal woes began in February, when he was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Nine of the counts involved abuse of victims under the age of 17. Kelly remained defiant, angrily denying the allegations of abuse.

“I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me. I’m fighting for my fucking life. Y’all killin’ me with this shit,” Kelly said in his first post-charges interview with CBS’s Gayle King.

Then, in May, Cook County prosecutors added new sexual assault charges, 11 felony counts that could carry a sentence of more than a century in prison.

READ: R. Kelly was just slapped with his most serious sexual assault charges yet

Kelly’s alleged abuses have received renewed press attention in recent years. In 2017, journalist Jim DeRogatis, who has reported on Kelly for years, published a bombshell piece at Buzzfeed that alleged the R&B singer was operating a “cult” in his home, tightly controlling the lives of women who lived there and coercing them to perform sex acts.

Lifetime aired a widely-watched documentary series called “Surviving R. Kelly” in January in which alleged victims described years of abuse and pedophilia.

Cover: In this June 26, 2019, file photo, R&B singer R. Kelly, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for an arraignment on sex-related felonies in Chicago. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)

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