R. Kelly faces federal kidnapping, child sex, racketeering charges

Singer R. Kelly faced a five-count federal indictment in New York City Friday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

July 12 (UPI) — Less than a day after he was arrested for charges in Chicago, singer R. Kelly was faced with five new charges in New York City Friday that accuse him of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child.

Prosecutors said Kelly and his entourage recruited women and girls at concerts and other venues to “engage in illegal sexual activity.” Kelly is the only person named in Friday’s indictment. He’s also accused of having sex with women younger than 18 and not disclosing a sexually transmitted disease. He also produced child pornography by asking minors to send him photos, prosecutors said.

“Today that comes to an end,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said in New York City Friday. “This indictment makes clear that neither fame, power nor status will not shield from prosecution predators who victimize members of our communities for their own sexual gratification.”

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Officials said Friday’s charges supersede a 13-count indictment unsealed in Chicago Thursday night. Those accused the singer of child pornography and obstructing justice.

The U.S. Attorney in Chicago said the 52-year-old R&B singer was arrested by local and federal authorities in New York Thursday.

Prosecutors said the accusations against the singer began in 1999.

Born Robert Sylvester Kelly, R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in June to felony charges of sex abuse involving four women, a couple of whom were underage. He was acquitted after a separate child pornography case in 2008.

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