Unpacking R. Kelly's arrest on federal charges.
R. Kelly's made headlines throughout the whole year. Dream Hampton's award-winning Surviving R. Kelly brought up the age-old allegations of sex crimes against minors. It wasn't really shocking, per se, but over the years, he's managed to escape any sort of legal penalties for the alleged actions. But he saw his world crumbling in every sense after the docu-series came out. He was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse based on accusations from four women. Three of them were minors. He's denied any wrongdoing.
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Even without these allegations, Kelly's 2008 child pornography trial where he was acquitted of all charges continues to haunt him. Last night, he was arrested in Chicago on federal charges while walking his dog. Homeland Security from Chicago and New York, along with the NYPD, took him in before a federal grand jury indicted him on 13 counts. Among them are counts of child pornography, obstruction of justice, and luring minors for sexual activity. A Brooklyn grand jury also handed down a five-count indictment accusing Kells of kidnapping, racketeering, sexual exploitation of a minor, forced labor, and sexual coercion. The allegations in Brooklyn stem from alleged incidents from 1999 to the present.
So here's where it all stems from:
- When R. Kelly was under investigation for the child pornography case in 2008, there was speculation that he paid off the girl and her family to keep quiet. The federal indictment is accusing Kelly of doing just that. The indictment claims Kelly and his associates paid off the family with gifts and cash for over a decade. In exchange, they wouldn't testify against him in court or co-operate with investigators. Some of the payments were in the thousands while he also bought the girl a car and brought her on trips out of the country.
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- Kelly's also accused of blackmailing, physically abusing and getting violent with the victim to keep her quiet. The indictment accuses him, as well as his business manager and another employee, of trying to cover up the alleged crimes.
- The indictment in Brooklyn accuses Kelly and his team of picking girls and women out of the crowd before having these women and girls come to visit him while he's on tour. He's accused of setting strict rules for the girls to follow which included not being able to eat, go to the bathroom or leave their rooms without Kelly's consent.
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- Child pornography allegations were brought back up in the Eastern District of New York indictment. He's accused of engaging in sexual acts with girls under the age of 18 without disclosing that he has sexually transmitted diseases.
- Kelly was previously charged in the state of Chicago earlier this year for sexual abuse. With the new indictments, his case has become a multistate federal matter.
- R. Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, has since responded to the allegations. "The conduct alleged appears to largely be the same as the conduct previously alleged against Mr. Kelly in his current State indictment and his former State charges that he was acquitted of. Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, is decades old," Greenberg wrote. "My Kelly was aware of the investigation... He and his lawyers look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out, and to his vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own gain."