R Kelly was arrested by New York police detective yesterday on federal sex trafficking and child pornography charges after evidence was allegedly handed over to police by ex-employees and former friends.
The singer was arrested on Thursday after detectives from the department of Homeland Security were allegedly given 20 videos that show the musician having sex with underage girls.
This was alleged by Gerald Griggs, a lawyer who represents – amongst others – the family of Jocelyn Savage. Griggs said that the tapes “were exactly what the feds needed to secure indictments for sex crimes, including child pornography”.
Kelly, pictured in June. Credit: PA
Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, the spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois, confirmed that R Kelly was arrested after a 13 count federal indictment was handed down.
In a short statement, he added that: “The counts include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice”.
The 52-year-old, whose real name is Robert Kelly, has strenuously denied the charges against him since he was arrested.
Kelly, after appearing in court on June 6th. Credit: PA
Kelly was also arrested in February in Illinois on a further 10 charges relating to four women. Of those four women, three were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.
These abuses are alleged to have taken place between the years of 1998 and 2010. The BBC has reported that at least three of the victims were between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of their alleged assaults.
At the time, an arrest warrant was issued but Kelly handed himself into the police. Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg said that the singer was “shell-shocked” by the allegations against him.
He told the Associated Press: “I think all the women are lying. Mr Kelly is strong, he’s got a lot of support and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges – one by one if it has to be.”
Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg. Credit: PA
He added that his client was “extraordinarily disappointed and depressed” by the allegations and maintains his innocence.
However, more counts were added to the charges on May 30th this year. The singer then appeared in court in June to plead not guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault.
Kelly also became emotional and cried during an interview with CBS reporter Gayle King when the charges against him were brought up.
Kelly told her: “I’ll sit here and say this, I had two cases back then that I said at the beginning of the interview that I would not talk about because of my ongoing case now.
“But I will tell you this: people are going back to my past and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that, to make all of the stuff that’s going on now feel real to people.”