SCOOP ALERT

R. Kelly arrested on federal sex crime charges, law enforcement says

Per NBC News

Kelly has strongly denied all allegations of sexual abuse, some of which date back to as early as 1998.

R&B star R. Kelly has been arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges, two law enforcement sources said Thursday night.

Robert Kelly, 52, was arrested by New York police detectives and investigators from the Department of Homeland Security and is expected to be taken to New York, the sources said. Further details were expected to be announced Friday.

Homeland Security’s investigations division and New York police declined to comment. Calls to the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, New York, weren’t immediately returned. Darrell Johnson, Kelly’s publicist, told NBC Chicago that he would hold a news conference in Atlanta on Friday morning.

Attempts to contact a spokesman for Kelly weren’t immediately successful. Drea Kelly, the singer’s ex-wife, had no comment, her representative said.

Kelly has been the subject of sexual abuse allegations for nearly two decades, some of them alleging acts as far back as 1998. He has vigorously denied the allegations.

Kelly was charged in Illinois in February with aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not guilty.

Then, in May, he was charged with 11 more countsof sexual assault and sex abuse, according to court documents.

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Kelly gained renewed interest following the release in January of a six-part Lifetime documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which detailed a number of women’s claims that they were sexually, physically and mentally abused. Kelly denied all of those accusations.

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