- Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS
- Artist R. Kelly was arrested on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse on Friday, after a sex tape surfaced that appears to show Kelly engaged in sex acts with a minor.
- Kelly is also reportedly under federal investigation by numerous agencies, including ICE, DHS, the FBI, and the IRS, for child trafficking and other organized crime.
- The developments follow the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which presented new testimony and allegations around Kelly’s alleged “sex cult.”
Artist R. Kelly was arrested Friday in Chicago on 10 counts of sexual abuse, but those charges could just be the beginning of his legal woes, according to numerous reports.
According to Chicago’s ABC 7, Kelly is now under investigation by numerous federal agencies on top of the charges he faces in state court. The local station says that sources tell them that Kelly is being examined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The agencies are reportedly looking into sex trafficking and child exploitation charges, as well as Kelly’s finances.
A representative from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told CNN that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is looking into the singer. According to ICE’s website, “HSI criminal investigators, also referred to as special agents, conduct criminal and civil investigations involving national security threats, terrorism, drug smuggling, child exploitation, human trafficking, illegal arms export, financial crimes, identity fraud, benefit fraud, commercial fraud and more.”
According to women who say they were part of R. Kelly’s “sex cult,” the artist moved women, some younger than 18, between multiple properties in different states.
Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing one of Kelly’s former employees who reportedly surfaced new video evidence for investigators, said Saturday morning in a tweet that he believes Kelly will soon face federal charges.
“I expect R. Kelly to also face federal charges in the coming weeks/months. These charges will be distinct from the crimes for which he was charged yesterday and will result in a separate criminal proceeding. Ultimately, R Kelly will rightly spend his remaining days in prison,” wrote Avenatti.
The news of the federal investigations follows a cascade of trouble that Kelly has faced in the wake of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which dove deep into longtime allegations of sexual misconduct, and provided multiple testimonies of alleged victims and previous associates.
Numerous individuals in the film recounted instances of Kelly abusing women, engaging in sex with minors, and leading what some have called a “sex cult.”
Following the release of the film, pressure mounted for authorities to pursue new charges against Kelly, who was once exonerated on child pornography charges.
In January, Cook County attorney Kim Foxx made a public call for more evidence to be brought forward. Eventually, Michael Avenatti and his client reportedly submitted a new tape to authorities that showed a man that appears to be R. Kelly engaging in sex acts with someone who claims to be underage, according to CNN. Kelly reportedly acknowledges on tape that the girl is underage as well.
Following the submission, INSIDER among other outlets reported that a grand jury had been convened to weigh charges against Kelly. On Friday, Kelly was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of four individuals, three of whom were 17 or younger at the time.
- Read more about the R. Kelly case on INSIDER:
- R. Kelly’s lawyer says ‘I think all the women are lying’ as the singer is arrested in Chicago on sexual-abuse charges involving 4 women
- R. Kelly reportedly charged in Cook County with aggravated criminal sexual abuse
- R. Kelly may have to put the brakes on a planned European tour in light of new sexual-abuse charges
- 12 of the most shocking allegations from ‘Surviving R. Kelly’