R. Kelly: Arrest warrant issued after jailed singer misses court appearance

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

R. Kelly’s considerable legal trouble just became more complicated.

It now extends beyond Illinois, where the singer remains in jail while awaiting his upcoming trial on child pornography charges, and even New York, where he was indicted in July relating to alleged sexual relationships with underage girls.

R. Kelly leaves a hearing on June 26 in Chicago. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Thursday, officials in Minnesota issued a bench warrant for his arrest, after he failed to appear in a Minneapolis court. Kelly — whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly — is accused of paying a girl to dance naked for him in July 2001 at a Minneapolis hotel. He’s charged with two counts of prostitution.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who’s representing the unidentified alleged victim, told the local Star Tribune that her client is not a prostitute, but officials told her those charges best fit the case.

The accuser reportedly called a Chicago tip line in January to tell her story.

Court documents in the case reveal that the woman’s story is similar to that of other Kelly accusers. She alleges that she met the musician at an event before one of his concerts, and he gave her his number. She said that, after she called, Kelly’s staff brought her to his hotel room, where the two engaged in sexual touching. Afterwards, the alleged victim said Kelly gave her VIP tickets to his concert. She was 17 at the time.

The Star Tribune reported that no attorney is officially representing Kelly in the Minnesota case. However, Steve Greenberg, who represents him elsewhere, said last month when the charges were announced that they’re a “waste of time.” He added that, in his opinion, the county attorney is charging his client for publicity.

“The underlying facts, even if you take them at face value, don't cry out for prosecution,” Greenberg said.

Kelly will likely be ordered to appear in a Minnesota court once his other case concludes, Hennepin County spokesman Chuck Laszewski told the newspaper.

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