What to Know
- Singer R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago Thursday on two separate federal indictments in Illinois and New York
- The 13-count indictment in Illinois alleges Kelly paid hundreds of thousand of dollars to recover videos of himself in sex acts with minors
- The R&B star has been the subject of different sexual abuse allegations for nearly two decades, with some alleged acts dating back to 1998
Note: You can read the full federal indictments here.
R. Kelly wasn't the only one named in new federal indictments filed Thursday, with two former employees also charged in the case.
Kelly's ex-business manager Derrel McDavid faces one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, as well as two counts of receiving child pornography. Former employee Milton Brown, also known as June Brown, was also charged with one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography.
McDavid appeared in court in Chicago Friday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges and a judge set bond at $500,000. He was released on bond Friday afternoon.
McDavid's attorney said his client would be vindicated of the charges against him and said it was unfortunate the "vendetta" against R. Kelly has extended to his associates.
State records show McDavid is associated with several businesses, including Mercadito Chicago on West Kinzie in downtown Chicago. NBC 5 Investigates attempted to speak with someone in one of his business offices, but they declined to comment.
McDavid's working relationship with Kelly appears to have ended in 2013 and McDavid sued Kelly in 2014 for breach of contract. McDavid was seeking more than $1 million. The case was settled in late 2015, but the details were not in the court file.
Kelly was indicted Thursday on four counts of producing child pornography, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography, two counts of receiving child pornography and five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, according to the indictment unsealed Friday.
The R&B singer was arrested Thursday night while walking his dog near his home at Trump Tower in Chicago, according to his attorney. He was simultaneously indicted on five separate charges in federal court in New York, where he faces five counts of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child.
Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg said in a statement Friday that the singer was "aware of the investigations" into him and that the charges "were not a surprise."
"The conduct alleged appears to largely be the same as the conduct previously alleged against Mr. Kelly in his current State indictment and his former State charges that he was acquitted of. Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, is decades old," Greenberg said.
The indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleges McDavid and other unnamed associates orchestrated the payment of several hundreds of thousands of dollars to various individuals in an effort to recover videotapes purportedly showing sex acts with minors, coerce witnesses to submit false testimony and more.
Prosecutors allege McDavid told an alleged victim's father to lie to a Cook County grand jury by denying that his daughter was in a video. At the same time, Kelly allegedly persuaded the girl, identified as "Minor 1" and another identified as "Minor 2" to deny a sexual relationship with Kelly to the Cook County grand jury. [[504323662, C]]
Authorities say in 2007, Kelly and McDavid paid Minor 2 $250,000 to return a tape of Kelly engaged in sex acts with her and Minor 1. Later that same year, prosecutors claim the two again paid Minor 2, as well as another unnamed person, $100,000 each for their efforts to recover more videos.
All the while, from approximately 2000 to 2015, federal authorities allege Kelly and McDavid made payments and bought gifts for Minor 1 and her parents in an effort to persuade them to cover up Kelly's relationship with her and the videos of him engaging in sex acts with her.
That indictment says Kelly and his managers, bodyguards and other assistants picked out women and girls at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. They also set rules the women and girls had to follow, including not leaving their rooms — even to eat or go to the bathroom — without Kelly's permission, calling the singer "Daddy," and not looking at other men, the indictment alleges. Kelly was the only individual named in the indictment. [[238427591, C]]
Kelly's arrest in Chicago Thursday came nearly five months after he was released on bail for additional sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors.
Back in February, Kelly was charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not guilty and was released from Chicago's Cook County Jail after posting bail.
Greenberg said a bail hearing on the federal indictment in Chicago would be held early next week, "at which time Mr. Kelly hopes to be released from custody."