R&B singer R. Kelly arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges: media

Kelly faces 13-count sex crime indictment. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019
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R&B singer R. Kelly arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges: media

  • Kelly charged for child pornography in 2008
  • One of the accounts he is being tried on is abuse of a victim between ages 13 and 16

Grammy Award-winning singer R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges, NBC News said, citing unidentified law enforcement officials.
R&B singer Kelly, 52, was arrested on Thursday by New York police detectives and investigators with the Department of Homeland Security, and is expected to be taken to New York City, the agency said.
Early on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times said Kelly faces a 13-count sex crime indictment, citing the US Attorney’s office.
The R&B singer has vehemently denied abuse allegations for decades. In 2008, he was tried on child pornography charges and found not guilty.
The Sun-Times said Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg, on Thursday confirmed the arrest, but declined to give details.
Greenberg was not immediately available for comment to Reuters.
Chicago police referred all questions on the matter to the US attorney’s office or New York police, but representatives were not immediately available for comment.
In June, Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 felony counts of sexual assault and abuse at a Chicago court hearing after prosecutors expanded an indictment against him.
Those counts, unveiled in late May in an indictment by a Cook County grand jury, involve alleged abuse of a victim between the ages of 13 and 16.
The accusations center on someone identified only as J.P. and the crimes are alleged to have taken place between May 2009 and January 2010.
Kelly could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on those charges.
In February, Kelly pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted three teenage girls and a fourth woman.
The charges were brought after seven women, including his ex-wife, appeared on a Lifetime television documentary and accused him of emotional and sexual abuse.
The singer, known for such hits as “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Bump N’ Grind,” spent a weekend in jail on the sex charges before being released on $100,000 bail on Feb. 25.
It was not immediately clear if the new federal charges against Kelly were related to previous cases. It was unclear where he was being held or when he would appear before a judge on the new charges.


Cambodian women face surrogacy charges after Vietnam births

A woman rides a motor-cart loaded with bananas in Phnom Penh on July 18, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 47 min 4 sec ago
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Cambodian women face surrogacy charges after Vietnam births

  • The surrogacy business boomed in Cambodia after it was put under tight restrictions in neighboring Thailand. There also were crackdowns in India and Nepal

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Three Cambodian women have been charged with violating surrogacy and human trafficking laws after they gave birth to babies they delivered to Chinese nationals in Vietnam, a court official said Friday.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ei Rin said the women, aged 31 and 32, are being detained pending further investigation after being charged on Thursday.
Chhiv Phally, the director of the Interior Ministry’s Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department, said the three women were detained by Vietnamese police and returned to Cambodia after they illegally crossed into the country to deliver their children to Chinese nationals for $8,000 per child, reported the English-language Phnom Penh Post newspaper.
Cambodia’s anti-surrogacy law carries a penalty of one to six months in prison, while the human trafficking charge, involving crossing borders, is punishable by 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment.
The anti-surrogacy law was intended to target intermediaries between parents and surrogates, but in the absence of a more appropriate law, has also been applied against women who carry surrogate pregnancies and give birth. The government has said it is drafting a new law to cover surrogacy, but it is not known when it will be ready.
Cambodia hurriedly passed its first law specifically targeting surrogacy in 2016 as the country was becoming a popular destination for foreign would-be parents seeking women to give birth to their children.
Developing countries are popular for surrogacy because costs are much lower than in countries such as the United States and Australia, where surrogate services can cost around $150,000. The surrogacy business boomed in Cambodia after it was put under tight restrictions in neighboring Thailand. There also were crackdowns in India and Nepal.
After Cambodia’s crackdown, would-be parents shifted to seek out surrogates in neighboring Laos.
In December, 32 Cambodian women who were charged with human trafficking for serving as surrogate mothers were released from detention after agreeing to keep the babies rather than giving them up as originally planned.