R. Kelly Busted on Child Sex Charges
06/06/2002 AT 11:00 AM EDT
Grammy-winning R&B star R. Kelly was indicted Wednesday in Chicago on 21 counts of child pornography, based on a videotape he allegedly made with an underage girl that has become a bootleg best-seller on street corners across the country and the Internet, The New York Times reports. "Decency and the law demand this indictment today," Chicago Police superintendent Terry Hillard told reporters. "It's unfortunate to see Mr. Kelly's talents go to waste but it becomes a tragedy when behavior damages the community." Kelly, 35, issued a statement through his lawyer in Los Angeles, saying, "Even though I don't believe any of these charges are warranted, I'm grateful that I will have a chance to establish the truth about me in a court of law." The singer (full name: Robert Kelly) was arrested Wednesday afternoon outside a home he is renting in Florida, The Times reports, and is being held pending a hearing scheduled for Thursday morning. The indictment consists of counts of videotaping, producing or soliciting for child pornography, and Kelly could face up to 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted, The Times reports. The charges stem from a 26-minute videotape sent anonymously in February to the Chicago Sun-Times, which turned the tape over to police. In it, a man who appears to be Kelly looks to be engaging in sex acts with a girl, now 17, whom police declined to name.