R Kelly arrested on federal sex crime charges in Chicago

12 July 2019, 05:49 | Updated: 12 July 2019, 08:41

R Kelly has been arrested on federal sex crime charges, a spokesman for the US Attorneys office has said.

In a short statement, Joseph Fitzpatrick said child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice were among the 13 charges against the R&B; singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly.

The Sun-Times reported that Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg confirmed the arrest, but gave no details.

The music star, 52, has been the subject of different sexual abuse allegations spanning almost two decades, some of which date back to 1998.

He has always denied any wrongdoing.

Kelly - known for hits including I Believe I Can Fly - was found not guilty of child pornography charges in 2008.

In June this year, the Grammy winner pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault and abuse, all said to have taken place against a victim between the ages of 13 and 16, between May 2009 to January 2010.

Kelly could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of those charges.

In February, the Grammy-winning artist pleaded not guilty to 10 sex-related charges in Illinois involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred.

The charges were brought after seven women, including his ex-wife, appeared on a television documentary and accused him of emotional and sexual abuse.

He spent a weekend in jail on those charges before being released on bail.

It has not been revealed where Kelly is being held or when he will appear before a judge, but the Department of Homeland Security said he is expected to be taken to New York.

Investigators from the department together with New York police detectives arrested the singer at around 7pm local time on Thursday.