Chicago police are investigating four newly discovered tapes alleged to depict R. Kelly involved in sexual activity, possibly with minors.
At his arraignment hearing in Chicago on Wednesday, Kelly pleaded not guilty to charges of child pornography (see “R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty To Child Pornography Charges” ), but all 21 counts that he’s currently facing stem from one tape in particular that allegedly depicts the singer having sex with a 14-year-old. (Click for a full explanation of the charges against R. Kelly.) The newly discovered tapes were given to Chicago police by authorities in Florida after Kelly’s indictment.
Originally, Kelly had been arrested in Polk County, Florida — where he rents a home — earlier this month following his indictment (see “R. Kelly Arrested On 21 Counts Of Child Pornography” ). Within a week of his arrest, police in neighboring Orange County, Florida, obtained the four latest tapes.
Orange County police said that they recovered the tapes from a company that rents RVs and had discovered the tapes in one of its rentals. Police then handed the tapes over to Chicago authorities, who are trying to determine if the tapes depict any criminal activity. Chicago police said they are looking at the four tapes to determine the identities of the people depicted and if any are underage.
“Certainly I will not discuss what is on the tapes, but it’s safe to say that some of it is new and some of it we had seen,” said Dave Bayless, director of news affairs for the Chicago Police Department.
Meanwhile, Polk County police confirm that they have served two search warrants on Kelly’s rented home in the town of Davenport, which is in their jurisdiction. They would not comment on what they found, if anything, and said that their investigation is continuing.
Kelly’s spokesperson Allan Mayer had no comment.
Kelly’s next scheduled court date is August 7.
For a feature interview with R. Kelly discussing the charges against him, see “R. Kelly: In His Own Words.”
For full coverage of the R. Kelly sex tape scandal, see The R. Kelly Reports.
[This story was updated on 06.27.02 at 4:32 ET.]