R Kelly faces more child porn charges

American R&B singer R Kelly, who is awaiting trial on 21 counts of child pornography in Illinois, was arrested yesterday in Florida on additional child pornography charges.

American R&B singer R Kelly, already facing child pornography charges in Illinois, was arrested yesterday in Florida on additional child pornography charges after investigators said they found photos of him having sex with a girl.

Robert Kelly was arrested at a Miami-Dade County hotel, but was released from jail on $12,000 (£7,400) bond hours after.

A statement issued by Kelly's representative, Allan Mayer, called the arrest "a classic case of piling on, in which a local jurisdiction tries to make headlines by attaching itself to a celebrity case.

"As far as we can tell, the charges all relate to R Kelly's arrest last summer. In other words, there is nothing new here," he added.

The Grammy award-winning artist has been out on bond and awaiting trial on 21 counts of child pornography in Chicago. Those charges stem from a videotape authorities say shows him having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Kelly, 36, has denied that charge.

Grady Judd of the Polk County sheriff's office told reporters that yesterday's charges were filed after pornographic digital images were found stored in Kelly's camera equipment. It had been seized during a search last June of his rented Florida home after the singer was arrested there on the Illinois warrant.

"In three of the photos he is engaged in sexual conduct with a minor," Judd said. But Judd would not say whether the unidentified minor in the photos were of the same girl in the video made in Chicago, where Kelly lives. Police were still trying to determine where the pictures were taken before considering any additional charges, Judd said.

He said it took seven months to issue the Polk County warrant because the state attorney's office needed time to investigate.

The singer is best known for hits that range from the Grammy-winning, gospel-like I Believe I Can Fly to sexually charged material such as Bump 'n' Grind and Your Body's Callin'.

The Illinois investigation began after the Chicago Sun-Times reported last February that it had received an incriminating tape anonymously, and passed it along to Chicago police.

Kelly has also been the focus of at least four lawsuits, three of which accuse him of having sex with underage girls. He has acknowledged settling two of the lawsuits regarding underage sex, but his lawyers have said they will fight the third.

Kelly's latest album, Chocolate Factory, is scheduled to be released in February. He was nominated for a Grammy earlier this month for the song The World's Greatest, from the Ali soundtrack.

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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