This story is still developing, but it’s being reported that R. Kelly has been arrested on 13 federal counts including obstruction of justice, enticement of a minor to engage in criminal activity, and child pornography. According to CNN, the R&B singer was taken into custody in Chicago while he was out walking his dog.
Kelly wasn’t the only one indicted this week. We previously reported that there were multiple investigations in both Illinois and New York by both state and federal agents who were reportedly looking into Kelly’s ties to sex trafficking. The 52-year-old’s entourage was allegedly also being investigated, and according to reports, a former employee named Milton “June” Brown and Kelly’s previous manager Derrel McDavid are also facing charges. They stand accused of delivering payouts in order to obtain and suppress child pornography tapes involving Kelly. They also are accused of intimidating witnesses from his trial back in 2008.
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For decades, Kelly’s name has been involved in sexual assault scandals, even after he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Yet, in February he found himself on the receiving end of 10 new counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. In May, he was hit with 11 counts of sexual assault. When he was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon, Kelly was out on $1 million bond.
There has been a revived call for justice against Kelly after Lifetime aired its docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly. The “#MuteRKelly” movement has gained traction as supports have demanded that anything related to the disgraced singer be canceled. However, Kelly has millions of admirers and fans who continue to raise their voices in his defense.
These current federal charges against Kelly are considered Class X felonies and if convicted, the singer could face 30 years in prison. Kelly’s publicist will reportedly deliver a press conference on Friday morning.