R. Kelly gave an emotional and explosive talk, defending his innocence in his first interview since being charged with sexual abuse.
The Detroit Police Department is investigating bombshell allegations that R&B singer R. Kelly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in Detroit in 2001.
Police Chief James Craig issued a statement late Wednesday saying that the department is trying to follow up with the alleged victim.
“We are aware of the allegations made against R. Kelly that possibly occurred in 2001. Approximately a month ago, we receive(d) information from Chicago Police Department of a victim, who lives out of state, who had made (an) allegation of a criminal sexual conduct incident against R. Kelly. The incident allegedly occurred in the City of Detroit when the victim was 13 years old,” Craig said.
“Based on the information received we have made several attempts to follow up with the victim. We have reached out, at the direction of the victim, to her lawyer and we are eagerly waiting to speak to her concerning the allegations. Right now, we have not made contact with her.”
He added: “The Detroit Police Department takes criminal sexual assaults very seriously as well as all acts of violence committed against our residents, and will investigate all cases equally and with vigor in efforts to bring justice to the victims and their families.”
Kelly’s defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, did not return messages requesting comment.
Kelly has a long and complicated Detroit history, including his alleged 1994 marriage to then 15-year-old singer Aaliyah when he was 27 — the same year he produced the Detroit teen’s breakout album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” The two had met when she was 12.
Well before the sexual assault allegations and legal issues became a national topic, Detroit was among the top markets for the Chicago-born Kelly. He remained a big draw here in recent years, including strong-selling shows at Little Caesars Arena in February 2018 and at Chene Park several months prior.
“Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part Lifetime series in January that helped push the sexual assault allegations onto the mainstream radar, was produced by Detroit filmmaker and writer Dream Hampton.
Earlier Wednesday, hours after Kelly’s fiery interview with Gayle King aired on “CBS This Morning” and before news of the Detroit investigation surfaced, Kelly was arrested and taken into custody in Chicago following a hearing over unpaid child support. He faced a charge of failure to pay $161,000 in back child support.
The singer, who is out on bail in a criminal case accusing him of sexually abusing four women years ago, including three who were underage at the time, appeared not to say anything as he walked past a throng of reporters into the courtroom on Wednesday.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse that he faces.
USA TODAY contributed to this report.
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