Chicago, ILLINOIS—On Thursday night, singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly, known to the world as R. Kelly, was arrested on federal sex charges—nearly five months after he was released on bail for additional sex abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors.

The singer, 52, was arrested in Chicago by Homeland Security Investigations agents and the NYPD Public Safety Task Force for accusations of child pornography, enticement of a minor, and obstruction of justice. Additional charges in the case will be released Friday by federal prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York.

According to the R. Kelly’s crisis manager, Darrell Johnson, R. Kelly’s legal team was expecting the indictment, but were unsure of the legal charges. “Mr. Kelly has declared his innocence from day one,” said Johnson, who said he has been working with the singer for six months. “I’ve seen nothing, and I do mean nothing, that would lead to any type of guilt.”

Back in February, Kelly was charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. Kelly pleaded not guilty and was eventually released after posting bail.

But these legal accusations fall into a similar pattern of child pornography charges that Kelly faced back in 2008, stemming from a video showing him having sex with a girl around the age of 13. A jury acquitted Kelly after a young woman claimed that it was not her in the video and did not testify.

What’s the Legal?

Images of child pornography are not protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under federal law, child pornography is any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor, or person less than 18 years of age (U.S.C. §2256). The law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography.

For more information, child pornography is codified under the following federal statutes:

  • 18 U.S.C. 2251 –Sexual Exploitation of Children (Production of Child Pornography)
  • 18 U.S.C. 2251(A) –Selling and Buying of Children
  • 18 U.S.C. 2252 –Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving Sexual Exploitation of Minors (Possession, Distribution, and Receipt)
  • 18 U.S.C. 2252(A) –Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Porn
  • 18 U.S.C. 2256 –Definitions
  • 18 U.S.C. 2260 –Production of Sexually Explicit Depictions of a Minor for Importation into the U.S.

Stay Tuned

Johnson has indicated that Kelly was looking forward to his day in court on Friday.