MINNEAPOLIS >> Minnesota authorities charged singer R. Kelly today with two counts of prostitution and solicitation involving a girl under 18 in 2001.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is accused of soliciting the girl after meeting her at a concert in Minneapolis. Kelly was not performing at the time, but was doing promotional work.
Freeman said the girl was trying to get an autograph from Kelly, and that the R&B performer gave her his signature and a phone number. When the girl called the number, she was invited to Kelly’s hotel. There she was offered $200 to take off her clothes and dance, Freeman said. He said Kelly took his clothes off and they danced together.
The charges are felonies. Freeman said his office investigated after getting a tip from a Chicago tip line.
“We felt we had more than enough to charge based on her testimony and corroboration from her brother,” Freeman said. “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.”
Freeman did not provide a name for the alleged victim in Minneapolis.
Gloria Allred, the attorney for several of Kelly’s accusers, said she also represents the newest woman to come forward. She commended the woman “for the courage she displayed in speaking to law enforcement.
“As this new case demonstrates, it is not too late for there to be justice for even more victims of R. Kelly,” Allred said in a statement.
A criminal complaint wasn’t immediately available. Freeman blamed a problem with the state court filing system.
The charges are the latest legal problem for Kelly, who remains jailed in New York after pleading not guilty last week in federal court to charges that 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, 52, is also charged separately in Chicago with engaging in child pornography.