Minnesota authorities are charging singer R. Kelly with two counts of prostitution and solicitation involving a girl under 18 for an alleged incident in 2001. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says Robert Kelly is charged in an incident involving a girl he met at a promotional event ahead of one of his performances.
Freeman says the girl was trying to get an autograph from Kelly and he gave her the autograph and a phone number, telling her to call him.
The prosecutor says when the girl called the number she was invited to Kelly’s hotel in Minneapolis, where the singer offered her $200 to take off her clothes and dance. He says Kelly took his clothes off and they danced together. Freeman said sexual contact occurred.
The girl was later offered VIP seating for Kelly’s concert, Freeman said. The girl told her brother about the incident when he asked her about the front-row seat, Freeman said.
Freeman says police investigated the allegation after the woman called a Chicago tip line in January, interviewing the woman and her brother.
“This kind of conduct, particularly juveniles, is simply unacceptable in the state of Minnesota and frankly everywhere,” Freeman reportedly said. “She was a juvenile at the time. We have special laws to protect our juveniles, and we are going to enforce them.”
Attorney Gloria Allred says she’s representing the woman in the new case. She told a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday that she was told the prostitution statute was the only one available to Minnesota authorities to charge Kelly in this case.
Allred says she will not name the woman. She commended the woman “for the courage she displayed in speaking to law enforcement.”
“As this new case demonstrates, it is not too late for there to be justice for even more victims of R. Kelly,” Allred said in a statement.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, tweeted: “Give me a break. This is beyond absurd.”
Sexual misconduct allegations have swirled for years around Kelly, whom federal prosecutors said last month was “emboldened by his fame and the lack of any real consequences.” The charges come after two documentaries and a series of news articles about the accusations, as well as pleas from prosecutors who have urged new victims and witnesses to come forward.
Kelly also faces federal sex crime charges in New York and Illinois and sex assault and sex abuse charges in Cook County, Illinois.
The New York indictment alleges Kelly for two decades ran a racketeering enterprise comprised of “managers, bodyguards, drivers, personal assistants and runners” who recruited women and girls for sex with Kelly and transported them around the country. It outlines allegations by five unnamed victims.
The federal indictment in the northern district of Illinois outlines allegations by five additional victims and accuses Kelly of having sex with five minors in the late 1990s and early 2000s, recording some of the abuse on multiple videos.
Kelly maintains his innocence. He is in federal custody in New York and it’s not clear when he will face arraignment in Minnesota.