Nelly Arrested on Rape Charge Following Seattle-Area Concert

Rapper charged with second-degree rape following incident about tour bus

Nelly was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with second-degree rape following an incident that occurred on the rapper's tour bus. Credit: Nicholas Hunt/WireImage

UPDATE 2: The woman who has accused Nelly of rape has recused herself from the case, citing, in a letter posted by her lawyer on TMZ, that "we do not live in a society where a 21-year-old college student can feel safe enough to pursue criminal charges against a celebrity for an alleged rape." Nelly has not responded publicly to the letter. “We’re not going to just halt the investigation,” an Auburn Police Department rep told the New York Times. “We’re still investigating the case, and it’s probably going to be referred to the prosecutor’s office sometime next week.” 

UPDATE: Nelly has released a statement following his arrest Saturday morning on second-degree rape. "Let me say that I am beyond shocked that I have been targeted with this false allegation," the rapper tweeted. "I am completely innocent. I am confident that once the facts are looked at, it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation. I do want to apologize to my loved ones for the embarrassment and for putting myself in a situation where I could be victimized by this false and defaming allegation. I also want to thank my fans for their unwavering support. They know me. I assure you I will be vindicated. And I assure you, I will pursue every legal option to address this defaming claim."

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Nelly was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with second-degree rape following an incident that occurred on the rapper's tour bus following a Friday night concert in Auburn, Washington.

Nelly, born Cornell Haynes Jr., was booked into Des Moines, Washington's SCORE Jail just before 6:40 a.m. PST Saturday, three hours after the Auburn Police Department responded to a call from a woman who said that the rapper raped her on the tour bus.

Nelly is currently on the Smooth Stadium Tour with Florida Georgia Line and the Backstreet Boys; the trek came to Auburn's White River Amphitheatre on Friday night.

According to Q13 Fox, following the concert, Nelly came to nearby Seattle and picked up a woman who he then brought back to his tour bus in Auburn, which was parked behind a local Wal-Mart.

At 3:48 a.m., the woman called police and said Nelly sexually assaulted her on the bus. Auburn Police, citing probable cause for arrest, took the rapper into custody and charged him with second-degree rape. After less than 90 minutes at SCORE, Nelly was released from custody at 8:02 a.m.

"A female called 911 to report that she was sexually assaulted by a male, who is known as the rapper 'Nelly.' The alleged assault was reported to occur on the tour bus that was parked at the listed location," Auburn Police said in a statement. "Nelly had performed at the White River Amphitheater just hours before." The department added, "Auburn Police are continuing to investigate this incident. The above details are all we have to release at this time."

The rapper's representatives did not respond to Rolling Stone's request for comment, but a lawyer for Nelly told TMZ, "Nelly is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation. Our initial investigation, clearly establishes the allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. I am confident, once the scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges. Nelly is prepared to pursue all all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation."

The Smooth Stadium Tour comes to Ridgefield, Washington Saturday night.