Singer R. Kelly was arrested on federal sex charges Thursday night nearly five months after he was released on bail for additional sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
The 52-year-old was walking his dog in Chicago when he was arrested by Homeland Security Investigations agents and NYPD Public Safety Task Force, officials told News 4.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said the R&B singer was taken into custody about 7 p.m. local time and was being held by federal authorities. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago.
There are separate federal indictments filed in both Chicago and Brooklyn, according to a senior law enforcement official, and a court appearance in Chicago could come later Friday. It is expected he will ultimatley be brought to New York to face additional charges.
A 13-count indictment was handed down earlier Thursday in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois and includes charges of child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice, U.S. attorney spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick told The Associated Press.
Federal prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York are expected to unveil Friday additional charges in the case.
Spokespeople from the NYPD and Homeland Security Investigations declined to comment on the arrest. Calls to the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn were not immediately returned.
The singer’s crisis manager, Darrell Johnson, says his legal team was expecting the indictment to happen but he doesn’t know what the charges are yet. Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was in high spirit as he awaits his trial, according to Johnson.
“Mr. Kelly has declared his innocence from day one,” said Johnson, who says he has been working with the R&B star for six months. “I’ve seen nothing, and I do mean nothing, that would lead to any type of guilt.”
Andrea Kelly, the singer’s ex-wife, had no comment following the arrest, her rep said.
The 52-year-old has been the subject of different sexual abuse allegations for nearly two decades, with some of the alleged acts dating back to 1998.
Back in February, Kelly was charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not guilty and was released from Chicago’s Cook County Jail after posting bail.
A jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges stemming from a video showing him having sex with a girl as young as 13, prosecutors claimed at the time. Kelly faced 15 years in prison for that charge, but the young woman in that claim denied it was her and did not testify.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images, File