R. Kelly Arrested on Child Porn Charges

ByABC News
January 22, 2003, 9:42 PM

Jan. 22 -- JANUARY 22, 2003 -- Singer R. Kelly was arrested in Miami today on 12 counts of possession of child pornography, officials said.

The charges stem from images authorities found last June during a search of Kelly's home in Davenport, Fla., the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

Police said they found 12 digital images depicting sex with a female who was under 18 years old.

"In three of the photos he is engaged in sexual conduct with aminor," said Col. Grady Judd.

The search was conducted after Kelly was arrested in Polk County on a warrant from Chicago, where Kelly had been indicted on 21 counts of child pornography. The Chicago charges were filed after a videotape allegedly showing the singer having sex with an underage girl came to the attention of police.

After Polk County authorities searched Kelly's rented home in Davenport, about 35 miles southeast of Orlando, they launched their own investigation, which resulted in the new charges.

Kelly, who has denied any wrongdoing, had been out on bond awaiting trial in the Chicago case.

Marc Martin, one of the singer's lawyers, said there's nothing new in the Florida charges and that they all stem from the charges filed over the summer. Martin claimed the Florida authorities were simply trying to make headlines.

Earlier Allegations

The singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been fighting allegations about his sex life for years, and has been the focus of at least four lawsuits in which he's accused of having sex with underage girls.

He has said he settled two of the lawsuits, but he has insisted that he did so only on advice of his lawyers and maintains that he did not have sex with minors.

In the third suit, filed last April, a woman claims Kelly had sex with her when she was a minor and forced her to have an abortion. In another lawsuit, Montina "Tina" Woods, a 33-year-old dancer, accuses Kelly of secretly taping their sexual encounter at his recording studio.

Kelly was previously married to Aaliyah, the rising R&B star who was killed in 2001 in a plane crash. That marriage was annulled because she was only 15 when they applied for a marriage license.

Kelly is currently married to a former dancer from his touring troupe. They have a newborn son and two young daughters.

The singer rose from poverty to strike it big with several hits, including the Grammy-winning hit from the movie Space Jam, "I Believe I Can Fly." He has sold more than 24 million albums worldwide, topping the charts in 2000 with "TP-2.Com," and other hits like "Bump 'n' Grind," "Feelin' on Yo Booty" and "Your Body's Callin'."