R Kelly has been arrested and charged on 21 counts of child pornography.
The R&B star now faces 15 years in prison, a fine of $100,000 and being placed on the sex offenders register. He was picked up at his Florida home yesterday afternoon (June 5) after a four-month police investigation.
“Even though I do not believe any of the charges are warranted, I’m grateful that I will have a chance to establish the truth about me in a court of law,” he said in a statement. “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.”
The charges stem from a videotape that is said to show the embattled star having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The 26-minute tape was sent anonymously to the Chicago Sun-Times in February. Copies of it have become a best-selling bootleg in New York and Chicago. The paper turned the video over to the police.
R Kelly is expected to be bailed on a $750,000 bond today (June 6).
According to reports, R Kelly had intended to travel from Florida to Chicago and give himself up to the authorities today. However, officers from Florida’s Polk County Sheriff’s Department arrived at his door on Wednesday afternoon armed with a fugitive warrant and apprehended the singer.
The indictment against R Kelly said the tape was made at his luxurious Chicago apartment sometime between 1997 and when the newspaper obtained its copy. R Kelly either knew, or should have known, the girl was born in September 1984 and was therefore a minor, it added.
Police said yesterday that FBI experts had examined the tape and determined it was authentic and that the figures were in fact R Kelly and the under-age girl.