Singer R. Kelly has been charged with two counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor in Minnesota, the newest charge in a years-long reveal of Kelly’s disturbing sexual crimes.
What We Know:
- The charges involve an incident that occurred in 2001 when Kelly gave a 17-year-old girl his phone number with his autograph at a promotional event. She called and was asked to his hotel room where she was paid $200 to dance for Kelly and be touched sexually. She was also given VIP tickets to an upcoming 18+ Kelly concert.
- The girl contacted law enforcement this past January after being inspired by recent public allegations against the superstar. Her brother corroborated her story by confirming she was, indeed, at the concert and had been told about the dancing incident in 2001.
- This Minnesota allegation is now the fourth open charge Kelly faces; Kelly is facing pending charges in New York and Illinois, so it is unclear whether he will appear in court in Minnesota. Kelly has pled not guilty of these recent accusations of multiple sex crimes including sexual abuse of underage girls, sex-trafficking, racketeering, production and possession of child pornography, obstruction of justice and transportation of women and girls across state lines for the purpose of illegal sexual activity.
- The attorney who represents many of Kelly’s accusers, Gloria Allred, held a press conference Monday in Los Angeles to discuss the pending charges, including the Minnesota case. She emphasized that any claim of consent Kelly makes is “extremely upsetting” because many victims were underage, which makes them legally unable to consent and especially vulnerable.
- Kelly is currently in jail pending trial after being denied bail twice in two different federal cases in New York and Illinois; Kelly is being considered a flight risk and a danger to the community, mainly based on accusations he gave one of his victims a sexually transmitted disease. Kelly and his attorneys will make the case that he must be released to aid in his defense, given how rare it is to have three cases pending at the same time. It’s possible the two pending federal cases in New York and Illinois will be merged if Kelly’s defense can find a connection between the cases.
Kelly’s newest three cases join a laundry list of upsetting accusations against the artist, largely including sexual abuse of minors.