R&B music star R. Kelly has been officially charged with two sex crimes for allegedly paying a minor female $200 for a nude dance and sexual contact before he took the stage at a concert in Minneapolis back in 2001.
According to the incident report, Kelly was approached by a 17-year-old who was seeking an autograph. The pair later ended up in a hotel room where there was sexual contact, but not intercourse. As a result of the incident, Kelly was charged with two counts of engaging in, hiring or agreeing to hire a minor to engage in prostitution. The attorney representing the minor in the case said that her client is not a prostitute, but she was told that the prostitution statute was the only way they could bring the charges against Kelly.
According to the complaint, the woman said she went to a pre-concert promotional event in hopes of getting Kelly’s autograph. When she received the autograph, she realized it included Kelly’s phone number. She later called the number and was invited to meet him at his hotel room. Once in the room, she was offered $200 for a nude dance. Sexual contact occurred during the dance, and afterwards, the woman left the room as was able to attend the over-18 concert for free, as a guest near the stage.
The client’s attorney said that the woman did not come forward about the incident until she learned about other women who had been victimized, although the woman did mention some details to her brother back in 2001. Minnesota’s three-year statute of limitations on such prostitution cases does not apply in this scenario because Kelly did not reside in Minnesota for the last three years.
Chicago-based attorney Steve Greenberg, who is representing Kelly, called the charges absurd.
“Frankly, you’ve got a prosecutor who’s starving for attention and doesn’t quite understand with his role as a prosecutor comes a certain level of responsibility. It really is absurd. If you look at what happened, it’s absurd. … Some girl comes in and starts dancing and says he touched her? What’s she doing there dancing? It’s enough already.”
Greenberg also had issues with the charges coming 18 years after the alleged incident.
“The idea of a statute of limitations is after a certain amount of time, you don’t charge people. I’m not going to waste my time on that case at this point. Until he (Freeman) can get Mr. Kelly to Minnesota, I’m not going to burn one brain cell on him.”
This is just the latest in a long line of legal trouble for Kelly, who is currently in custody in New York on separate charges. He also faces ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Illinois, and 18 additional federal charges including child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping and racketeering.