Disgraced R&B singing icon R. Kelly (pictured) is in for the biggest legal battle of his life now that the U.S. government has brought new cases against him.
ABC 6 Action News (a local media outlet based in Philadelphia, PA) reported on Friday (July 12) that Kelly, 52, is currently federal custody at a Chicago correctional facility. Around 7 p.m. CST on Thursday (July 11), Kelly was walking his dog when he ran into a bureaucratic buzz saw.
Agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and officers with the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested the Grammy-winning songwriter without incident. It is now known that Kelly (born Robert Sylvester Kelly) was apprehended due to being criminally charged in two separate federal indictments.
Earlier Thursday, a federal Grand Jury turned over a 13-count indictment in the Northern District of Illinois. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, Kelly has been federally charged in Illinois with various sex crimes. There is also a federal racketeering indictment, which Kelly must face in the Eastern District of New York.
In New York, the U.S. government claims that Kelly was the key man inside an illicit, sex-related “enterprise.” Federal prosecutors claim that Kelly had a whole team of bodyguards, managers, personal assistants, and drivers illegally bringing him women and girls to have sex with.
Kelly’s federal indictment in New York contains five separate counts. Derrel McDavid, 58, and Milton Brown, 53 (both from Chicago) are two of Kelly’s former employees in the music business. These two men have also been criminally charged by the federal government. Their charges involve the illegal reception of child pornography.
Kelly has already been charged in Illinois’ state court with a laundry list of criminal offenses. From February to May 2019, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Kelly with dozens of other crimes, including aggravated sexual assault. The “12 Play” performer pleaded not guilty to all the charges in his state case.
However, the U.S. government built Kelly’s federal case against him in its signature clandestine fashion.
On February 21, 2019, the New Yorker Magazine published a report, which stated that federal law enforcement officials were forming a dragnet around Kelly. The FBI and DHS were two of the federal agencies that were investigating. Many factors were being considered as federal investigators built their case, according to The New Yorker.
Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, organized a press conference early Friday (July 12). Greenberg also released a statement saying that his client “was not surprised” by his July 11 arrest at the hands of federal authorities. In custody, Kelly awaits a removal hearing, which involves his case in New York.
Kelly has another federal court date in Chicago scheduled for early next week. According to Greenberg, this court appearance will be a bail hearing.
“A bail hearing will be held early next week, at which time Mr. Kelly hopes to be released from custody. There will be no further comment until this time,” Greenberg said in his official statement.
In 2018’s fiscal period, the U.S. government secured convictions in 98 percent of the nearly 80,000 criminal cases brought to federal court in that time. Greenberg and his team will face enormous odds defending their grossly controversial client in federal court.