R. Kelly finally faces sex crimes charges
R. Kelly is now facing four sets of separate sex-crime charges, with the newest filed Monday by authorities in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced at a news conference in Minneapolis that Kelly is being charged with two counts of prostitution and solicitation involving a girl under 18 for an alleged incident in 2001.
Freeman said Kelly is charged in an incident involving a girl he met at a concert. The girl sought an autograph from Kelly, and he gave her the autograph and a phone number, Freeman said.
When the girl called the number she was invited to Kelly’s hotel and offered $200 to take off her clothes and dance, the prosecutor alleged. He says Kelly took his clothes off and they danced together.
Kelly is already facing multiple federal and state sex-crime charges in three separate indictments in the Eastern District of New York, in the Northern District of Illinois and in Cook County in Illinois.
“It is despicable that Mr. Kelly used his fame in order to prey on underage girls,” Freeman said. “While there are more numerous charges in the Illinois and federal cases, we wanted to make sure that our victim here in Minneapolis also receives a measure of justice. We fully expect that at some future date, Mr. Kelly will have to account for his actions in Hennepin County.”
Freeman says his office investigated after getting a tip from a Chicago tip line.
“We felt we had more than enough to charge based on her testimony and corroboration from her brother,” Freeman told reporters. “I don’t like buying sex from minors, and I don’t think most other people do either.
According to the criminal complaint, the woman contacted police in January (when the anti-Kelly film series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” aired on Lifetime) to report an incident that occurred the day of Kelly’s concert on July 11, 2001. She was 17 at the time.
Freeman said the three-year statute of limitations for such cases in Minnesota only applied if Kelly remained in the state, which he did not.
Kelly’s lead defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, tweeted: “Give me a break. This is beyond absurd.”
Re: New charges @RKelly give me a break. This is beyond absurd
— Steve Greenberg (@SGcrimlaw) August 5, 2019
Gloria Allred, the crusading attorney who represents multiple Kelly accusers, said she represents this newest accuser of Kelly, whom she did not identify.
But she sought to clarify that her client is not a prostitute despite the language of the charges against Kelly.
“I would like to emphasize that my client is not a prostitute. She is instead a child victim of Mr. Kelly,” Allred said in a statement emailed to USA TODAY. “My understanding from law enforcement in that state is that the only available statute for which Mr. Kelly can be charged is the prostitution statute.”
She urged Minnesota to change its laws to “more properly reflect crimes” against children.
“In its present form, some victims may be fearful of coming forward because they don’t want to be classified as prostitutes when nothing can be further from the truth,” Allred’s statement said.
At least one other accusation in a different state, Michigan, also has been under investigation: In March, the Detroit Police Department acknowledged it was investigating allegations that Kelly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 2001 in Detroit. Police Chief James Craig issued a statement then saying Detroit police got a tip about the alleged crime from Chicago police.
Allred said she also represents that accuser, now an adult. She told USA TODAY that her client had been interviewed by police and was willing to testify about her allegations, but no charges have been filed in Michigan.