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R&B singer R Kelly arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges: media

Early on Friday, the 'Chicago Sun-Times' said R Kelly faces a 13-count sex crime indictment, citing the US Attorney’s office.

In this file photo taken on 24 November 2013, R Kelly arrives for the 2013 American Music Awards in California. Picture: AFP.

CHICAGO - Grammy Award-winning singer R Kelly was arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges, NBC News said, citing unidentified law enforcement officials.

R&B singer Kelly, 52, was arrested on Thursday by New York police detectives and investigators with the Department of Homeland Security, and is expected to be taken to New York City, the agency said.

Early on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times said Kelly faces a 13-count sex crime indictment, citing the US Attorney’s office.

The R&B singer has vehemently denied abuse allegations for decades. In 2008, he was tried on child pornography charges and found not guilty.

The Sun-Times said Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg, on Thursday, confirmed the arrest but declined to give details.

Greenberg was not immediately available for comment to Reuters.

Chicago police referred all questions on the matter to the US attorney’s office or New York police, but representatives were not immediately available for comment.

In June, Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 felony counts of sexual assault and abuse at a Chicago court hearing after prosecutors expanded an indictment against him.

Those counts, unveiled in late May in an indictment by a Cook County grand jury, involve alleged abuse of a victim between the ages of 13 and 16.

The accusations centre on someone identified only as JP and the crimes are alleged to have taken place between May 2009 and January 2010.

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

In February, Kelly pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted three teenage girls and a fourth woman.

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

The singer, known for such hits as I Believe I Can Fly and Bump N’ Grind, spent a weekend in jail on the sex charges before being released on $100,000 bail on 25 February.

It was not immediately clear if the new federal charges against Kelly were related to previous cases. It was unclear where he was being held or when he would appear before a judge on the new charges.

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