Federal Authorities Arrest R. Kelly On New Charges Of Child Pornography: NPR

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This June photo of R. Kelly shows him departing to courtroom in Chicago in a case related to state sexual abuse case. On Thursday, federal prosecutors said, "Kelly has been launched."

Amr Alfiky / AP


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Amr Alfiky / AP

This June photo of R. Kelly shows him departing to courtroom in Chicago in a case related to state sexual abuse case. On Thursday, federal prosecutors said, "Kelly has been launched."

Amr Alfiky / AP

Federal authorities in Chicago have arrested and charged R&B singer R. Kelly in a 13-count indictment alleging child pornography and obstruction of justice, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Kelly, who already faces separate sexual assault charges in state court, will now be comparing two possible trials following his Thursday night arrest by federal authorities.

For decades, Kelly has been dogged by accusations over sexual contact with minors and child pornography allegations. He was prosecuted by the state authorities in a child pornography case before, but in June 2008, Kelly was acquitted of all charges, allowing him to walk to free man.

Kelly's arrested by agents Thursday night represents the first time the singer has faced federal charges.

A law enforcement official tells The New York Times that investigators plan to bring Kelly to New York to face charges. Federal prosecutors told the paper that prosecutors in Brooklyn will detail those plans on Friday.

In recent months, fresh interest has been generated around the longtime accusations against Kelly.

An interview Kelly did with Gayle in March in which he emotionally denied sexual misconduct with underage girls prompted widespread attention.

And Lifetime's recent six-episode Surviving R. Kelly documentary included accounts from several women who accused the singer of misconduct, drawing a new focus on the longstanding accusations lodged at him. More accusers began publicly telling their stories about alleged abuse and sexual misconduct perpetrated by him.

State prosecutors in Chicago this year have filed sexual assault and abuse charges against him, the latest of which were filed six weeks ago. Kelly, 52, whose real name is Robert S. Kelly, has pleaded not guilty.

Steve Greenberg, Kelly's lawyer, did not respond to requests for comment.

WBEZ's Patrick Smith contributed to this report.

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