Federal prosecutors in Chicago have filed a fresh indictment against R&B singer R. Kelly that contains new allegations but also appears to remove a victim from the case.’
Though largely similar to the original indictment against Kelly, the new charges allege he enticed a previously unmentioned minor between 1997 and 2000 “to engage in sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, namely, aggravated criminal sexual abuse.”
It says the alleged victim, identified as “Minor 6,” met Kelly in 1997 or 1998 when the person was 14 or 15 years old.
The new indictment also appears to remove from the list of victims the person previously identified as “Minor 2,” who plays a central role in the allegations of pay-offs during Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial. That person is now identified as “Individual D.”
Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor, said the move could indicate prosecutors felt uncomfortable presenting that person to a jury as a victim but had corroborating evidence to put that person on the stand as a witness.
“The presentation of the evidence seems to have been tweaked a little bit, but the overall construction of the case remains the same,” said Cramer, managing director in Chicago of Berkeley Research Group.
The new charges mean Kelly will again have to appear for arraignment at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago’s Loop. It also means Kelly’s trial there, currently set for April, will likely be rescheduled.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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