A Chicago grand jury indicted R. Kelly (whose full name is Robert
Kelly) on more than twenty-one counts of child pornography today.
The charges stem from a videotape that allegedly features footage
of the R&B singer having sex with an underage girl. According
to the Cook County State Attorney’s office, a child pornography
charge is a Class I felony, and punishable by up to fifteen years
in prison, as well as a $100,000 fine. Shortly after the indictment
was announced, Kelly was arrested in central Florida.
“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Kelly’s talents go to waste,” said
Chicago police superintendent Terry Hillard at a press conference,
“but it becomes a tragedy when behavior damages the community.”
The tape first surfaced in February, when a copy was sent to the
Chicago Sun-Times, and later leaked to the Internet. Kelly
appeared on BET Tonight With Ed Gordon last month and
denied that he was the man in the video.
Kelly was briefly married to late R&B star and actress
Aaliyah, who lied about her age to acquire a marriage license with
Kelly when she was just fifteen. Kelly is currently married to a
former dancer, and the couple has two children.
Calls to Kelly’s attorney were not returned at press time, but
the singer released a statement that read in part, “I have complete
faith in our system of justice, and I am confident that when all
the facts come out, people will see that I’m no criminal.”