First Jeffrey Epstein, now R. Kelly. Looks like someone at the Department of Justice wants to clear the elite-sex-trafficking file by the end of the month. Federal agents in Chicago arrested the singer last night after a grand jury dropped a 13-count indictment:
Singer R. Kelly, already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, was arrested in Chicago Thursday on a federal grand jury indictment listing 13 counts including sex crimes and obstruction of justice.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said the R&B singer was taken into custody about 7 p.m. local time and was being held by federal authorities. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago.
He was arrested after the indictment was handed down earlier Thursday in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois.
“The counts include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that further details would be released Friday.
Kelly already faced similar charges in Illinois of a similar nature. The state attorney’s office for Chicago — led by the controversial Kim Foxx, the same woman who let Jussie Smollett off the hook — filed indictments totaling 21 charges after a Lifetime documentary about Kelly’s predatory behavior and lack of consequences thereof embarrassed law enforcement. Kelly has been out on bail since his February arrest, but he’ll now have to convince a federal judge to allow him to remain outside of jail until his trial.
Thus far, it’s unclear whether these charges overlap Foxx’s indictment on Kelly or whether they cover new ground. After the Smollett case, one could understand why the feds might want to indict Kelly themselves and claim jurisdiction over the case. The Washington Post suggests that more details of the indictment will get released later today. It’s not clear if Kelly will get arraigned today, but it seems likely, and the details within the indictment would normally be published at that time. The obstruction charges would likely be on different grounds, at least, which suggests that the US Attorney has a different set of charges. That’s not good news for the defense, obviously, but it’s good news for Kelly’s alleged victims outside the state of Illinois.
It’s tough to ignore that the Department of Justice has moved twice this week against wealthy and powerful elites regarding sexual predation after public pressure generated from media exposure of the claims of their victims. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but perhaps some people should be getting a little nervous. Contra Kelly, the storm is likely not over.