Authorities arrested singer R. Kelly on Thursday night in Chicago to face new federal charges, including allegations of enticing minors to engage in criminal sexual activity, racketeering and producing and receiving child pornography, according to federal authorities.
Federal prosecutors in New York and Illinois unveiled a total of 18 new charges in two separate cases against the 52-year-old, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly.
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Update 1:45 p.m. EDT July 12: Kelly's former manager, Derrel McDavid, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of conspiracy to receive child pornography, conspiracy to obstruct justice and receiving child pornography, WLS-TV reported.
McDavid, who worked as Kelly's business manager from 1991 until around 2014, was one of two of Kelly's former employees to be charged in a federal indictment unveiled Friday by prosecutors in Chicago.
In the indictment, authorities said McDavid knew about videos Kelly recorded of himself engaging in sexual acts with minors and that he helped to conceal them from investigators. Authorities alleged he and Kelly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2001 and around 2009 "for obtaining and returning multiple videos that they knew depicted Kelly engaged in sexual contact and sexual acts with a minor."
A federal judge on Friday ordered McDavid be released on a $500,000 bond, according to WLS-TV.
“NO COMMENT” - R Kelly’s business manager Derrell McDavid walked out of federal court today. He was released on $500,000 bond. Accused of covering up evidence and threatening victims. Caught up with him at court. @ABC7Chicago pic.twitter.com/tokv4VkPPB— Alexis McAdams ABC-7 (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) July 12, 2019
Update 11:30 a.m. EDT July 12: Authorities said Kelly is scheduled to appear Friday afternoon for a removal hearing at a federal courthouse in Chicago after prosecutors in New York unveiled a five-count indictment against the singer. Federal prosecutors in Illinois have also filed child pornography and obstruction charges against Kelly.
The New York indictment, which was filed Wednesday and unsealed Friday, accuses Kelly of "racketeering predicated on criminal conduct including sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping (and) forced labor," according to prosecutors.
In the indictment, officials accused Kelly and his managers, bodyguards, drivers, personal assistants, runners and members of his entourage of operating as a racketeering enterprise that for more than two decades "used (Kelly's) fame to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with him and others."
The group "preyed upon women and girls who attended (Kelly's) concerts so that the victims could be available to engage in illegal sexual activity with him at a moment’s notice," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue said.
Authorities said Kelly issued rules to many of the women and girls who fell victim to the scheme, requiring them to stay in their rooms unless they got his permission to leave and prohibiting them from looking at other men.
"Kelly also isolated the women and girls from their friends and family and made them depended on him for their financial well-being," authorities said Friday in a news release.
Authorities continue to investigate.
Update 10:20 a.m. EDT July 12: A 13-count federal indictment filed Friday in Illinois accuses Kelly of child sex crimes, child pornography and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
The Illinois federal indictment details efforts to cover up sexually explicit videos of Kelly with underage girls. Prosecutors say the defendants paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to victims and witnesses to make sure they wouldn't cooperate with law enforcement. It also accuses Kelly of using physical abuse, violence and blackmail to prevent victims from providing evidence to law enforcement.
Update 10:05 a.m. EDT July 12: Kelly's publicist is addressing the new charges against the singer at a news conference in Atlanta.
Update 9:50 a.m. EDT July 12: Federal prosecutors in New York have filed racketeering charges against Kelly, NPR reported Friday morning.
BREAKING: Federal prosecutors in New York file federal racketeering charges against R. Kelly including allegations of coercion, enticement, forced labor and kidnapping of minors. pic.twitter.com/qqFr34nysn— Bobby Allyn (@BobbyAllyn) July 12, 2019
The 18-page indictment unsealed Friday accuses Kelly and members of his entourage of recruiting women and girls to "engage in illegal sexual activity with the singer. He is the only person named in the indictment. It describes rules that Kelly had for the women, including not allowing them to eat or use the bathroom and not permitting them to look at other men and telling them to keep their heads down.
Besides racketeering the indictment includes charges of transporting for prostitution and coercion or enticement of a female.
Steve Greenberg, an attorney for Kelly, said in a statement posted Friday morning on Twitter that the singer was unsurprised by the new charges, as he was aware of the ongoing investigations into his conduct.
Kelly was arrested Thursday night while walking his dog in Chicago, Greenberg said, adding that federal agents were "courteous and professional, as was Mr. Kelly."
Greenberg said the new charges leveled against Kelly involve alleged conduct that happened decades earlier.
"The charges arose from alleged conduct in the Northern District of Illinois as well as the Eastern District of New York," Greenberg said. "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 he was acquitted of."
Update 12:45 a.m. EDT July 12: In a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago, the charges against singer R. Kelly included child pornography and obstruction of justice, WLS reported.
Kelly's publicist confirmed Kelly's arrest and said a news conference was scheduled for Friday morning to address the charges, the television station reported. Kelly’s attorneys could not be reached for comment Thursday night, according to WBBM.
In May, Kelly was charged with 11 counts of sexual assault, WBBM reported. He pleaded not guilty to those charges in a June hearing, the television station reported.
Spokesmen from the NYPD and Homeland Security Investigations declined comment on Kelly's arrest, WMAQ reported. Calls to the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, were not immediately returned, the television station reported.
Original report: Kelly was arrested on charges in a 13-count indictment in the Northern District of Illinois, an U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois spokesman told ABC.
Breaking: #RKelly “was arrested in Chicago tonight on charges contained in a 13-count indictment returned today in the Northern District of Illinois,” per @NDILnews spox. “The indictment includes charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice.”— Josh Margolin (@JoshMargolin) July 12, 2019
According to WMAQ-TV in Chicago, Kelly will be brought to New York. More details on the case are expected on Friday.
BREAKING: Confirmed: R. Kelly arrested on federal sex trafficking charges in Chicago tonight and is being held at the Cook County jail, according to a Kelly spokesman.— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) July 12, 2019
Both the US attorney’s for Northern District of IL and in Manhattan are involved.
In February, Kelly was charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17. Kelly pleaded not guilty and was released from Chicago's Cook County Jail after posting bail, WNBC reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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