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R. Kelly Faces New Charges Of Prostitution With Underage Girl In Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (CBS) -- Already facing an array of charges in Chicago and New York, R. Kelly was facing new charges Monday of engaging in prostitution with an underage girl in Minneapolis.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday afternoon that the singer had been charged with engaging in prostitution with an individual under 18, but older than 16.


HAPPENING NOW: Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announces sex crime charges against R. Kelly, including prostitution. The charges stem from a 2001 incident.

Posted by WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota on Monday, August 5, 2019

The charges stem from an incident in July 2001.

Freeman said the victim was trying to get Kelly's autograph at a promotional event before a scheduled performance. Kelly gave the girl his autograph and also a phone number, instructing her to call him, Freeman said.

When she called him, Kelly directed the girl to go to his hotel, where she was met by a member of his staff, Freeman said. The staffer ushered the girl up to Kelly's hotel suite, where Kelly offered her $200 to take off her clothes and dance for him, Freeman said.

She accepted the money, and Kelly also removed his clothes and they danced, Freeman said.

Freeman said there was sexual contact, but no intercourse.

Afterward, Kelly invited the victim to a concert where she was given the opportunity for VIP seating, Freeman said. The concert was an 18-and-over event, and it was considered a "special privilege" for the victim to attend because she was under 18, Freeman said.

After Freeman's announcement, Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, tweeted that the allegations were "absurd."

Last week, Kelly was denied bail on a separate federal case out of federal court in the Eastern District of New York.

The New York charges stem from five women and girls who are identified only as "Jane Does" in court documents. The alleged incidents date back to 1999.

The New York indictment specifically charges Kelly with five felony counts, including racketeering and Mann Act violations, which involve transporting a person across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity. The racketeering case also accuses him of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a child, and forced labor.

"R. Kelly's enterprise was not only engaged in music; as alleged, for two decades the enterprise at the direction of R. Kelly preyed upon young women and teenagers whose dreams of meeting a superstar soon turned into a nightmare of rape, child pornography and forced labor," Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent In Charge Angel Melendez said. "The musician turned predator allegedly used his stardom to coax some victims into nefarious sex acts while certain members of his enterprise calculatingly facilitated the aberrant conduct."

Court documents indicate that Kelly met one victim at a concert, and another at a radio station. Prosecutors allege Kelly arranged for some victims to meet him on the road for illegal sex.

The documents detail one alleged incident on Long Island in 2017 when Kelly engaged in sexual activity without telling the alleged victim that he had an STD.

In Chicago, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber approved a protective order on evidence in the child pornography and obstruction case last week.

Kelly already been ordered held without bond in his separate Chicago federal case, in which he is accused of producing and receiving child pornography, obstruction of justice, and coercing minors to engage in sex. Kelly's attorneys also are asking the Chicago judge to reconsider his ruling denying Kelly bail.

In the Chicago case, federal prosecutors have said Kelly and two associates paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover tapes of him sexually abusing the girl at the center of his 2008 child pornography trial and coerced the victim and her family to lie about what happened.

Federal prosecutors have suggested they could file a more far-ranging indictment in the case against Kelly and two associates, potentially adding new charges and additional defendants.

Meantime, Kelly also faces more than 20 charges of sexual abuse and sexual assault in Cook County. He was first charged in February with 10 counts of sexual abuse involving four females, including three children.

The charges in the case identify the victims only by initials and the dates of the alleged abuse:

• H.W. (13-16 years of age), who Kelly allegedly abused between May 26, 1998, and May 25, 1999;
• J.P. (13-16 years of age), who Kelly allegedly abused between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010;
• R.L. (13-16 years of age), who Kelly allegedly abused between Sept. 26, 1998, and Sept. 25, 2001;
• L.C. (no age given), who Kelly allegedly abused on Feb. 18, 2003.

In May, he was charged with an additional 11 felony counts involving one of those victims, identified only as JP.

The most serious charges in Cook County, four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, carry prison terms of up to 30 years in prison.

His next hearing on the Cook County case is scheduled for Aug. 15. Cook County prosecutors have said they expect to decide by then which of the four cases they plan to pursue first. The judge in that case has said he wants to set a trial date for early next year.

Kelly's next New York court date is scheduled for Oct. 2. His lawyers waived his appearance for that date, so he will not be present in court for it.

Freeman said it was not clear when Kelly would appear to answer for the new charges in Minnesota.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CBS Minnesota contributed to this report.)

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