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R. Kelly is arrested by feds on new charges while walking his dog in Chicago

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For more than 20 years, allegations of sexual misconduct have been mounting against R. Kelly. The R&B singer has repeatedly denied all accusations of wrongdoing.

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 10:00 AM
Updated: Jul 12, 2019 10:00 AM

Singer R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago on Thursday night on federal sex crime charges, sources told CNN.

Kelly, 52, is charged with sex trafficking and attempting to influence a case in Atlanta, and was arrested while walking his dog, a source with knowledge of the arrest said.

A five-count indictment against Kelly was unsealed Friday in the Eastern District of New York. Kelly will appear in federal court in Brooklyn at a later date, a source with that district's US attorney's office told CNN.

Kelly's arrest comes after a 13-count indictment was returned Thursday in the Northern District of Illinois that includes child pornography and obstruction of justice charges, said Joseph Fitzpatrick, assistant US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. It was also unsealed and available to the public Friday morning.

Kelly's attorney said the allegations appear to be the "same as the conduct previously alleged against R. Kelly in his current State indictment and his former State charges."

"He and his lawyers look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to his vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own personal gain," attorney Steve Greenberg said Friday in a statement. "Most importantly he looks forward to being able to continue to making wonderful music and perform for his legions of fans that believe in him."

A bail hearing will be held early next week, Greenberg said.

The New York Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and other federal partners assisted in Thursday's arrest, a law enforcement source said.

He's faced abuse allegations for decades

Until Thursday, Kelly was free on a $1 million bond set in February.

He has faced accusations of abuse, manipulations and inappropriate encounters with girls and young women for more than two decades.

He was charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, including three who prosecutors say were underage girls. The charges span from 1998 to 2010. Kelly pleaded not guilty.

He posted the $100,000 bail and left Chicago's Cook County Jail less than three days after he was arrested. He was arrested and jailed again in March for failure to pay his ex-wife child support of $161,000.

In late May, a grand jury indicted him on 11 more charges pertaining to one of the four accusers, including aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony; and criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony. A person convicted of Class X felonies can get up to 30 years in prison under Illinois law.

Kelly has vehemently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct.

'Where's my daughter at?'

Kelly's publicist, Darrell Johnson, was taking questions at a news conference in Atlanta Friday morning when the family of Joycelyn Savage, 23, one of Kelly's girlfriends, started yelling, "Where's my daughter at, answer that question!"

Timothy Savage, Joycelyn Savage's father, said Friday that he hasn't seen his daughter since 2016 and hasn't spoken to her since a July 2017 conference call, in which she asked them to stop trying to contact her.

"We want answers and we want them now," Timothy Savage said.

He and other parents allege Kelly has controlled their daughters' lives and manipulated them into cutting off contact with the outside world, including their families.

"I know nothing," Johnson said to the family. He promised to meet with them privately after the news conference.

Johnson said Kelly is innocent and that the indictments were a rehash of previous charges.

"This is nothing new. We expected this to happen," Johnson said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the sex trafficking count as part of the New York indictment against Kelly.

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