R&B singer R. Kelly hit with two new charges in Minnesota

R&B singer R. Kelly hit with two new charges in Minnesota
  • Clock-gray 23:46
  • calendar-gray 05 August 2019

The criminal sex scandal surrounding R&B singer R. Kelly has spread to Minnesota, where he is charged with soliciting a minor for sexual purposes 18 years ago, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Monday, APA reports citing The Startribune.

It's the latest charge against Kelly, 52, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly. He was indicted last month in New York on 18 federal counts including kidnapping, forced labor and sending child pornography across state lines, as well as obstruction of justice for making hush money payments to victims. He has pleaded not guilty.

State charges out of Illinois accuse Kelly of sexual assault, and he faces multiple lawsuits from alleged victims. Kelly is currently in federal custody in New York state, and it is unclear if or when he will make a court appearance in Minnesota. He is due to appear again in court in Chicago in early September. He also has denied wrongdoing in the Illinois matters.

County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the felony counts of prostitution with an individual under 18, and another soliciting sex with a person under 18. He said the alleged incident occurred in July 2001 when the victim was attempting to get an autograph from Kelly during a promotional event at the City Center in downtown Minneapolis before a concert. Charges say he gave her his phone number and told her to call him. She called and was then directed to go to a Minneapolis hotel where she met with a member of his staff and was led to his suite.

"After some discussion she was offered $200 to take off her clothes and dance for him," Freeman said. "After accepting the $200 she got naked and they proceeded to dance." Freeman said sexual contact occurred, though it was not intercourse. Afterward, Freeman said, she was given VIP seating for a concert.

Freeman said "there was some talk" of the juvenile traveling to Chicago to see the singer, but when she tried to call Kelly, they had trouble connecting, and the phone number was soon changed.

"This kind of conduct, particularly juveniles, is simply unacceptable in the state of Minnesota and frankly everywhere," he said. "She was a juvenile at the time, we have special laws to protect our juveniles, and we are going to enforce them."

Faiq Mahmudov

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