R&B star R. Kelly has been arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges, two law enforcement sources said Thursday night.
Robert Kelly, 52, was arrested by New York police detectives and investigators from the Department of Homeland Security and is expected to be taken to New York, the sources said. Further details were expected to be announced Friday.
Joseph Fitzpatrick, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago, told the Associated Press that Kelly was arrested Thursday night, and that the 13-count indictment includes charges of child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice.
A voice message left by NBC News at Fitzpatrick’s office was not immediately returned Thursday night.
Homeland Security’s investigations division and New York police declined to comment. Calls to the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, New York, weren’t immediately returned.
Attempts to contact a spokesman for Kelly weren’t immediately successful. Drea Kelly, the singer’s ex-wife, had no comment, her representative said.
Kelly has been the subject of sexual abuse allegations for nearly two decades, some of them alleging acts as far back as 1998. He has vigorously denied the allegations.
Kelly was charged in Illinois in February with aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not guilty.
Then, in May, he was charged with 11 more counts of sexual assault and sex abuse, according to court documents.
Allegations of sexual misconduct against Kelly gained renewed interest following the release in January of a six-part Lifetime documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which detailed a number of women’s claims that they were sexually, physically and mentally abused. Kelly denied all of those accusations.
In 2008, a Cook County, Illinois, jury acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges stemming from a video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. The young woman denied that it was her in the video and didn’t testify.