NEW YORK – Robert Sylvester Kelly, AKA "R. Kelly," was arrested in Chicago on Thursday evening following a joint investigation by the Joint Security Investigations (HSI) of New York and the Department of Police Department of New York City Police (NYPD) and special agents with HSI Chicago. An indictment in excess of five points was venerated on Friday in the Brooklyn federal court, accusing R&B singer "R. Kelly" with racket based on criminal conduct including sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor and Mann Act violations involving the coercion and transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activities. Kelly is also accused of four charges of violating the Mann Act regarding the interstate transport of a victim in New York to engage in illegal sexual activity and his exposure to an infectious venereal disease without his knowledge. Kelly was also accused of a separate, unsealed federal prosecution in the Northern District of Illinois on charges of federal child pornography and obstruction.
Kelly is expected to report to the federal court in Chicago, Illinois. Later, Kelly will be accused of this supersing charge in Brooklyn.
"R. Kelly's Enterprise wasn't just engaged in music; as asserted, for two decades the enterprise directed by R. Kelly preached young women and adolescents whose dreams of meeting a superstar soon turned into a nightmare of rape, child pornography and forced labor. The musician turned into a predator would have used his celebrity to convince some victims of nefarious sexual acts while some members of his company made the aberrant behavior easier. Today's racketeering charge is a clear indication of the extent of his criminal activity, which involves coercion and kidnapping, "said Angel M. Melendez, special agent for HSI New York." This investigation was built with the foresight of special agents and detectives assigned to the joint HSI and NYPD public safety task force, along with prosecutors from the civil rights section of the Eastern District of New York. R. Kelly believed he could fly, but it will be fair to see his oppressed wings cut ".
"The New York police are committed to ensuring that predatory children are taken away from our streets and prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted by law. I thank our skilled New York police investigators and our partner order bodies for their unitary work to provide justice to the victims of these despicable crimes: those who engage in these reprehensible crimes against our most vulnerable will be pursued relentlessly and held responsible for the pain and suffering they cause, "said James P. O & # 39; Neill, New York police commissioner.
"As alleged, R. Kelly, along with employees and members of his entourage, engaged in a racketeering business that preached the women and girls who attended his concerts, identifying the victims to engage in illegal sexual activities , facilitating their travels and accommodations, and proscribing their movement, their clothes and their interactions with other men, "said the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard P. Donoghue. "It ends today. This indictment makes it clear that neither fame nor power nor status will protect themselves from predators who persecute members of our communities for their sexual gratification." Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation at the Prosecutor's Office of the United States for the Northern Illinois District for their assistance during the investigation.
According to the prosecution and other procedural documents, Kelly and the people who acted as managers, bodyguards, drivers, personal assistants and runners, as well as members of his entourage, included a racket company (l & # 39; Enterprise) that had been operating for over two decades. in New York, Illinois, Connecticut and California. Kelly, as head of the Enterprise, used his reputation to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activities with him and others. The prosecution claims that Kelly identified these girls and women and then directed members of the Enterprise to escort them backstage or for events following her musical performances. Kelly also exchanged contact information with girls and women so that he and other Enterprise members could arrange travel and accommodation to visit Kelly and engage in illegal sexual conduct.
Kelly issued rules that many of his sexual partners had to follow, including that women and girls had to call him "Dad"; he was not allowed to leave their rooms to eat or visit the bathroom without permission; they had to wear loose-fitting clothes when they didn't accompany Kelly to an event; and they were directed to keep their heads down and not look at the other men. Kelly also isolated women and girls from their friends and family, and made them dependent on him for their financial well-being.
On Friday, federal agents carried out a search warrant at Kelly's residence.
The charges in the indictment are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise. If convicted, Kelly could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison for the racket and two accounts Mann Act Coercion and Enticement respectively, and up to 10 years of imprisonment for each of the counts of the Mann Act Transportation. The case of the government is managed by the Civil Rights Section of the EDNY.
If you believe you are a victim of criminal activity perpetrated by Robert Kelly, please contact HSI at the address 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423) or by accessing https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form and referring to this case. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All information will be kept strictly confidential.