R Kelly (real name Robert Sylvester Kelly), 52, is currently facing two Federal grand jury indictments in Illinois and New York for allegedly engaging in sex acts with minors, videotaping the incidents, and intimidating and bribing witnesses to stay silent.
The Illinois indictment alleges that R Kelly recruited minors between the ages of 12-17 for sex and filmed the acts. In addition, it alleges that Kelly and his associates paid thousands of dollars to recover lost videotapes showing the acts and pressured witnesses to conceal his sexual contact with minors.
The New York indictment alleges that R Kelly was the “leader of a racketeering enterprise” which included “managers, bodyguards, personal assistants, and runners” who recruited underage victims to have sex with Kelly and help transport them around the United States. He was charged with several crimes including sexual exploitation of a child, forced labor, kidnapping, and violations of the Mann Act involving the transportation of girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity.
R Kelly’s former manager, Derrel McDavid, and a former employee, Milton “June” Brown, are charged in the indictment as two of the co-conspirators who allegedly helped R Kelly commit and conceal his crimes.
Homeland Security Special Agent-in-Charge Angel Melendez described Kelly’s charges in an official statement, “R. Kelly’s Enterprise was not only engaged in music; as alleged, for two decades the enterprise at the direction of R. Kelly preyed upon young women and teenagers whose dreams of meeting a superstar, soon turned into a nightmare of rape, child pornography, and forced labor. The musician turned predator allegedly used his stardom to coax some victims into nefarious sex acts while certain members of his enterprise calculatingly facilitated the aberrant conduct,”
Kelly is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago at least until his hearing on Tuesday. Prosecutors have requested that he be held without bond. If convicted, he faces decades of prison time and $1.5 million in fines.
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1. R Kelly Allegedly Had Strict Rules His Victims Had to Follow
Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty ImagesCHICAGO, IL – JUNE 26: R&B singer R. Kelly (C) appears at a hearing before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building June 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
According to the indictment from the Eastern District of New York, R Kelly allegedly had a set of rules that several of his sexual partners had to follow. Women and girls were required to call R Kelly “Daddy” and not permitted to leave their rooms or use the bathroom without permission. They were also required to wear baggy clothing to conceal their figures when not with R Kelly and directed to “keep their head down and not look at other men”.
Kelly allegedly isolated several of his victims from their friends and families and made them completely dependent on him financially. He allegedly threatened to seriously harm one victim’s family if “she did not perform certain sexual acts on him and others at his direction”. He also slapped, choked, and isolated her in rooms for days at a time with no access to food.
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2. He Allegedly Gave One of His Victims a Venereal Disease
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
The New York Indictment outlines an incident where R Kelly knowingly gave a 19-year-old girl a venereal disease. In May 2017, R Kelly’s assistant arranged travel accommodations for the woman to travel and see him perform in Long Island, New York. Kelly came to her hotel room after the concert in the early morning hours and the two proceeded to have sex. According to his medical records, R Kelly was aware that he had an STD prior to the encounter and still did not wear a condom, a violation of New York law.
The two had sex again in February 2018 after which the victim got tested and learned she had contracted a venereal disease. After learning this, she ended her relationship with the singer.
3. He Allegedly Had His Associated Kidnap and Drug a Woman Then Sexually Assaulted Her
Photo credit should read KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
In a horrifying account from the New York indictment, one of Kelly’s victims was allegedly invited to R Kelly’s studio in 2004 by his associates. When she arrived, they locked her in a bedroom for 3 days without providing her with sustenance. At the end of the third day, one of the members of Kelly’s entourage provided her with food and water but when the victim drank it, she “became tired and dizzy”.
She passed out and woke up sometime after with R Kelly in the bedroom and, according to the indictment, “circumstances that made clear he had sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.”
4. He Allegedly Paid Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Recover Tapes Depicting Sex Acts with Minors
Photo by John Lamparski/Getty ImagesGary Dennis and wife Sallie represented by attorney (C) Glorida Allred hold a press conference to discuss alleged new R. Kelly tape at Lotte New York Palace on March 10, 2019 in New York City.
The Illinois indictment details several instances where R Kelly, Derrell McDavid and several others allegedly “agreed to pay money and cause money to be paid on Kelly’s behalf” to ensure that victims and witnesses “would conceal and cover up evidence, including videos, relating to Kelly’s sexual contact and sexual acts with minors.” In addition, Kelly and his associated are alleged to have intimidated victims, witnesses, and their families from testifying in court.
The indictment goes on to describe several instances between 2001 and 2009 where Kelly and McDavid paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover videos that depicted Kelly having sex with minors. In 2007, Kelly paid $250,000 to one victim (known as “Minor 2” in the indictment) and $100,000 to “Individual C” to recover to lost videotapes. He also forced them to take polygraph tests to confirm that they did not take additional videotapes.
In addition to paying money to keep his crimes quiet, the indictment alleges several instances of witness tampering to keep Kelly out of jail. Kelly paid one victim and the victim’s parents a monthly stipend along with financing a trip for them to travel overseas so she would not testify about his crimes during his 2002 indictment on 21 counts of child pornography. He also bought the victim a luxury SUV and transferred the title to her name in 2013.
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5. R Kelly’s Lawyer Says He Will Be Found Innocent
Attorney for singer R. Kelly, Steven Greenberg speaks with reporters after filing a motion at the Leighton Courthouse on April 01, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
R Kelly’s attorney, Steven Guttenberg, said of this most recent arrest that “was aware of the investigations, and the charges were not a surprise.” He also told CNN that “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 personal gain,” adding that the 52-year-old singer looks forward to making music and performing “for his legions of fans that believe in him.”