As R. Kelly sits in a Chicago jail cell over $161,000 in unpaid child support payments, a report emerged on Wednesday (March 6) that Detroit police are investigation allegations that the singer raped a 13 year-old girl in the city in 2001.
According to Fox 2, Detroit police are attempting to reach the alleged victim, who is reportedly being represented by noted celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.
“Sometime last month we received information from the Chicago Police Department of a possible victim that was allegedly sexually assaulted by R. Kelly sometime I believe in 2001,” Detroit Police chief James Craig told Fox 2.
It was unclear at press time if the Detroit allegation is tied to the 52 year-old singer’s arrest last month, in which he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Chicago. Kelly, whose hyper-sexualized persona has been a calling card for more than three decades, has plead not guilty to the charges that authorities say involve four victims, three of whom were allegedly under age when the suspected crimes took place.
Craig said that he and investigators from the Wayne County prosecutors office are attempting to get first-hand information on the alleged assault from the reported victim, who referred them to her attorney; Billboard had reached out to Allred and the Detroit Police Department at press time for comment.
“We don’t know what the victim is going to tell us, certainly, depending on what we find out, it will be up to Wayne County Prosecutor’s office to make a decision as to whether there will be charges,” Craig said when asked if the investigation could produce additional counts against Kelly.
Chicago’s CBS2 reported that the latest alleged victim, now 30, said she was visiting her mother at the time and was intorduced to Kelly through her friend, who was the singer’s assistant. A source reportedly told the CBS reporter that Kelly and the unnamed alleged victim first had sex at the Detroit hotel on Dec. 30, 2001, and that they had sex again a few weeks later at a Detroit recording studio. The woman reportedly continued to visit Kelly at his Atlanta home for four years after that, saying that the singer gave her herpes when she was 17 years-old.
BREAKING: “We are eagerly waiting to speak to the alleged victim,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig just told me.
— Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) March 7, 2019
If convicted on all 10 charges in the Chicago case, Kelly could be sentenced to up to 70 years in prison; he is currently out on bond in that case. Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 after prosecutors alleged that he was depicted in a video having sex with an underage girl. He has denied the current charges in the Chicago case and adamantly stated in a lengthy interview with CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King this week that there is nothing untoward about his current relationship with two women in their early twenties. A spokesperson for Kelly delcined to comment at press time. Billboard had also reached out to Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, for comment at press time. Greenberg has previously said his client did not “knowingly” have sex with underage girls.
“I love ’em and it’s almost — it’s like they’re my girlfriends…it’s like, you know, we have a relationship. It’s real,” Kelly told King. “And I know, guys — like, I’ve known guys all my life that have five or six women, okay? So don’t go there on me, okay? ‘Cause that’s the truth.”
Kelly was served with a lawsuit in May 2018 in Manhattan by Faith A. Rodgers, who alleged sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease. Rodgers claimed she met Kelly when she was 19 at a concert in San Antonio and that the singer flew her to New York a few months later, where he allegedly “initiated unwanted sexual contact” in a hotel room and that he did not disclose to her at the time that he had herpes and infected her with the virus as a result.
Rodgers further claimed that she stayed in a relationship with Kelly for about a year, during which he “routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact.” This was “behavior designed to humiliate, embarrass, intimate and shame her,” according to the lawsuit. It also alleges Kelly would often record Rodgers during sex without her consent and keep her locked in secluded areas to punish and control her. Some of the latter claims mirror those in the recent bombshell Lifetime Surviving R. Kelly docu-series, in which more than 50 people claimed that Kelly engaged in a decades-long pattern of sexual and physical abuse and intimidation, while exerting iron-fisted control over every aspect of their lives.
Kelly as denied Rodgers’ allegations, as well as those in the series.