Already awaiting trial on child pornography charges in Chicago, R. Kelly was arrested Wednesday morning in Miami on additional child porn charges. Authorities said they found 12 photos of a nude girl at the singer's home.
The Polk County sheriff's office, with the assistance of Miami-Dade police, arrested the singer at the Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove, Florida, where he had been staying. Kelly was in town to shoot a video for the remix of his latest single, "Ignition."
Authorities said the charges stem from the discovery of child pornography images during a search of the singer's rented Davenport residence in June. That search was conducted during his initial arrest in Polk County on an Illinois fugitive warrant. Then two search warrants were executed at his home, and 12 digital images were found that depicted an underage female. Three images also depicted Kelly involved in sexual conduct with the female minor, authorities said.
Col. Grady Judd of the Polk County Sheriff's office would not say whether the minor in the digital photos was the same girl who appears in the videotape at the center of the case in Chicago (see "R. Kelly Under Investigation After Sex Tape Surfaces"). Police said they'll continue to investigate before considering any additional charges.
"Even though the evidence was seized last summer, the pictures themselves did not establish a case," said Chip Thullbery, spokesperson for the state attorney's office. "We had to confirm the identity of the girl, establish that the pictures were real, not computer-generated, and all of that takes time."
Kelly was being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facility before he posted $12,000 bond ($1,000 per count). If convicted, Kelly faces up to five years for each of the 12 felony counts, according to the state attorney's office. An arraignment date has not been set.
"At this point," R. Kelly spokesperson Allan Mayer said, "it looks to us like a classic case of piling on, in which a local jurisdiction tries to make headlines by attaching itself to a celebrity case. As far as we can tell, the charges all relate to R. Kelly's arrest last summer. In other words, there is nothing new here."
Kelly's new album, Chocolate Factory, has been pushed back to February 18. The "Ignition" video shoot will proceed as planned, according to a label spokesperson.
[This story was updated on 01.22.03 at 5:07 p.m. ET.]
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