Singer R Kelly is facing further sex crimes allegations after being accused of paying a 17-year-old girl to dance naked for him after meeting her before a concert in 2001.
The R&B artist, 52, is charged with two counts of prostitution and solicitation involving a minor in a hotel room in the city of Minneapolis.
He is alleged to have paid the girl $200 (£164) to take her clothes off and engage in sexual activity, which is said not to have included intercourse.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the girl tried to get an autograph from Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, and that he gave her his signature and a phone number.
When she called the number, it is claimed she was invited to go to his hotel.
A criminal complaint alleges the girl said Kelly lay on his bed and that she climbed on top of him.
The complaint said the girl, named as “Victim” – attended Kelly’s concert “as a guest who did not have to pay,” and told her brother what had allegedly happened in Kelly’s hotel room.
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The charges are felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison.
Mr Freeman said his office investigated the claims after getting a tip from a Chicago tip line.
He said: “We felt we had more than enough to charge based on her testimony and corroboration from her brother.”
“I don’t like buying sex from minors, and I don’t think most other people do either.”
Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg tweeted: “Give me a break. This is beyond absurd.”
Gloria Allred, the attorney for several of Kelly’s accusers, said she also represents the newest woman to come forward and commended her – “for the courage she displayed in speaking to law enforcement”.
In a statement, she said: “As this new case demonstrates, it is not too late for there to be justice for even more victims of R. Kelly.”
She also stressed that her client is “not a prostitute”.
Ms Allred added: “She is instead a child victim of Mr Kelly.
“My understanding from law enforcement in that state, however, is that the only available statute for which Mr Kelly can be charged is the prostitution statute.
“My hope is that in the future, the Minnesota legislature will review that law and consider changing it to more properly reflect crimes that are committed against children.”
Kelly remains jailed in New York after pleading not guilty last week in federal court to claims he sexually abused women and girls who attended his concerts there.
He is accused of using his fame to recruit young women and girls into illegal sexual activity.
Kelly, is also charged separately in Chicago with engaging in child pornography.
The performer has denied abuse allegations for decades. In 2008, he was tried on child pornography charges and acquitted.
SOURCE : https://news.sky.com/story/r-kelly-facing-further-sex-charges-after-prostitution-claims-involving-a-17-year-old-girl-11778359