Singer R. Kelly, already charged with sexual assault in Illinois, 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, call him “Daddy” 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 by New York City police detectives and federal agents on Thursday evening as he walked his dog in Chicago his lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said.
The R&B singer made a brief court appearance in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Friday and was ordered back on Monday for further proceedings. Kelly, who was handcuffed and wearing orange jail garb, spoke only to reply “yes, your honour” to the magistrate judge.
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 said.