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Singer R Kelly charged in sex scheme of kidnapping and payoffs

R Kelly. Photograph:( Twitter )

Reuters Chicago, Illinois, United States of America Jul 13, 2019, 10.52 AM (IST)

Singer R Kelly, who has been already charged with sexual assault in Chicago, was indicted in federal courts in New York and Chicago on Friday with transporting women and girls across state lines for sex, forcibly keeping them under his control and buying their silence.

In indictments unsealed in Brooklyn and Chicago, federal prosecutors said Kelly, 52, ran a racketeering and human trafficking scheme that required the women and girls to be obedient and ask permission to eat or use the bathroom.

"The purposes of the enterprise were to promote R Kelly's music and the R Kelly brand and to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly," prosecutors said in the Brooklyn indictment.

Kelly, who was free on bond in the Illinois state case, was taken into custody again on Thursday evening by New York City police detectives and federal agents on as he walked his dog in Chicago his lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said.

The R&B singer made a brief court appearance in US District Court in Chicago on Friday and was ordered back on Monday for further proceedings.

Brooklyn prosecutors urged in a court filing that Kelly be held without bond on the federal charges while they seek to have him sent to New York for a hearing that has yet to be scheduled.

Greenberg said in a statement posted to Twitter that the federal charges mostly stem from conduct that is "decades old" and already part of the state case or previous allegations that Kelly had been acquitted of.

"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," he added.

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Kidnapping and Pornography charges:

The five-count Brooklyn racketeering indictment includes multiple allegations going back to 1999, including sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping and forced labour.

Under the alleged scheme, Kelly and his entourage would invite women and girls backstage after concerts, isolate them from friends and family, and make them dependent on him for their financial well-being.

Chicago prosecutors charged in their 13-count indictment that Kelly had sexual contact with five minors, recorded videos of some of them and paid them off to buy their silence.

Prosecutors said Kelly paid an unidentified individual $170,000 to cancel a news conference in which that person planned to announce he had tapes of Kelly engaging in sexual activity with minors.

The Chicago indictment also charges two of Kelly's former employees, Derrel McDavid, 58, and Milton "June" Brown, 53 with obstructing the investigation.

Story highlights

Singer R Kelly, who has been already charged with sexual assault in Chicago, was indicted on Friday with transporting women and girls across state lines for sex, forcibly keeping them under his control and buying their silence