Singer R. Kelly has been arrested on sex trafficking charges

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In what sounds like a confusing mix of jurisdictions, the NYPD has arrested singer R. Kelly on sex trafficking charges in Chicago. Reports of the performer’s apprehension appeared in several media outlets including The New York Post, ABC News,  and Fox News.

According to the New York Post, the singer was arrested on federal sex-crimes charges and is expected to be brought to New York City to answer for his crimes.

The law enforcement officers who arrested him were members of the NYPD/Homeland Security Public Safety Task Force.

Kelly is facing a 13-count indictment, including, Page Six reports, four counts of aggravated sexual assault. he is expected to plead not guilty.

R. Kelly’s legal issues make problems for fans

Lately, when a black American entertainer gets in legal trouble, the voices of those who contend the charges are modern day lynching arise. Those voices are contrasted by those who find credibility in victims’ stories who are willing to ignore the alleged perpetrator’s celebrity in the name of justice.

Efforts to halt Kelly’s performances became a movement called #mute R. Kelly. Protesters have shown up at concerts to call for people to boycott the singer’s performances. The leaders of the movement also called for Kelly to be removed from all music streaming services, a practice that has been not quite universally successful.

Earlier this year, Kelly took part in a primetime interview with journalist Gail King to declare his innocence. Unfortunately, might have done more harm than good: at one point in the interview, Kelly stomped and yelled in an effort to show outrage at the accusations. His actions had the opposite effect. The interview was mocked on “Saturday Night Live” and fans took to social media to share their polarized views of the event.

What this latest arrest illustrates is that the singer is accused of serious crimes. The dates for the alleged sexual abuse go back to 1998.

In short, it seems like the accusations this time are more than just ways to “pick” on the singer. No matter how beleaguered Kelly seems with each new arrest or accusation.

According to the reports, Kelly could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Fans and critics alike will make up their minds about the singer’s legacy depending on how his legal issues are resolved.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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