Parents Of Girl On Alleged R. Kelly Sex Tape Face Probe

Child welfare investigators want to know if teen's folks allowed sex to happen.

Child welfare investigators have reopened an investigation of the parents

whose daughter is at the center of last week's sex-tape indictments against

R. Kelly.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said Monday (June

10) that it has renewed its probe into whether the teenage girl's parents

allowed her to have sex with the singer (see "R. Kelly Arrested On 21 Counts Of Child Pornography"),

thereby subjecting her to risk or harm.

"Our involvement is only tangentially to Robert Kelly," said DCFS Deputy

Director John Goad. "Our interest is more seeing after the safety of the

children, whether they suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of those

responsible to their care."

DCFS had investigated the girl's parents twice prior to the indictments

— once in 2000 and again in 2001. Both investigations were prompted by

calls to the department's hotline, but both stalled because they didn't have

enough evidence. Goad couldn't comment on the information given in those

calls, and he wouldn't say whether they were anonymous tips.

"If someone makes a report and there's reasonable cause, then we do conduct

an investigation," he said. "But we had virtually no evidence."

And the second time the investigation was opened, the girl and her parents

denied her involvement with the singer, Goad said. Now, with the indictments

and the videotape itself, the investigation has been reactivated and given

top priority.

Should the DCFS find that the parents allowed their daughter to have sexual

relations with Kelly, they risk losing custody of the girl and any siblings

she may have.

"There's no connection to what we would find and any criminal charges," Goad

explained, "but we do see to the safety of the child. And if there is

evidence of child abuse and neglect, we take custody of the child and then

go to court. And we do consider all of the children in the family in the

event that there are siblings."

The daughter, who Chicago police say was 14 at the time of the tape, is said

to be 17 now.

For a feature interview with R. Kelly discussing the

accusations against him, see

HREF="/bands/r/r_kelly/news_feature_051302/index.jhtml">"R. Kelly: In His

Own Words."

For full coverage of the R. Kelly sex tape scandal,

see The R. Kelly