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R. Kelly Faces New Sex Abuse Charges From Illinois Federal Prosecutors

R. Kelly attends a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago in September 2019.
Antonio Perez
Getty Images
R. Kelly attends a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago in September 2019.

R&B singer R. Kelly has again been charged by federal prosecutors in Illinois. Thursday's filing, which includes 13 charges, supersedes an indictment filed last July and accuses Kelly with sexually abusing another minor.

The minor added to Thursday's federal indictment in Illinois was about 14 years old when the abuse allegedly started in about 1997 and lasted for more than three years.

The Illinois charges are in addition to another federal, five-count indictment in New York, to which Kelly pleaded not guilty in August. Across both federal indictments, Kelly is now charged with abusing 10 girls and women over the course of more than two decades, from about 1997 to 2018.

And, for the first time, the government is seeking to seize the assets connected to the allegations, including those of Kelly's production company, Bass Productions Ltd., as well as similar assets of his business manager, Derrel McDavid, and another co-defendant and associate, Milton "June" Brown.

According to the prosecutors, McDavid and Brown paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to find, and keep out of law enforcement's grasp, videotapes that Kelly allegedly made with the girls and young women. They are also accused of paying off victims and witnesses.

In addition to the two sets of federal charges, Kelly still faces four separate indictments of sexual assault and abuse in Cook County, Ill., to which he pleaded not guilty last June, as well as an array civil suits and allegations from other women. He also has two pending criminal charges against him in Minnesota.

The Illinois federal charges now involve five females who were between the ages of about 12 and 16 when they are said to have met Kelly.

The girl who has been newly included in the Illinois indictment is referred to as "Minor 6." A person previously referred to as "Minor 2" apparently is now called "Individual D" in the superseding indictment. Prosecutors allege that she was involved in a scheme in which the alleged victim in Kelly's 2008 child pornography trial — of which he was acquitted — was paid off, along with her family. The person at the center of the 2008 trial is referred to as "Minor 1" in the current Illinois indictment.

On Twitter, Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, wrote in part: "We continue to fight for him and look forward to the day he is free."

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Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.