R. Kelly is facing an updated indictment in federal court in Chicago on charges of abusing a minor, adding to the jailed singer’s mounting legal challenges across three states.
The superseding indictment made public Friday alleges the singer sexually abused a girl for four years starting in 1997, when she was under 18.
The 26-page indictment does not add more charges against Kelly. It includes multiple counts of child pornography, much like the original July 2019 indictment.
The filing refers to the new accuser as “Minor 6” but no longer includes any reference to a “Minor 2. That means there are still a total of five alleged victims in the federal case for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.
The indictment offers few details about the new accuser. It says she met Kelly around 1997 or 1998, when she would have been 14 or 15. It says Kelly engaged in sexual contact or sexual acts with her when she was under 18.
“It appears that the government continues to struggle with its underlying factual theory,” of the case, one of Kelly’s lawyers, Michael Leonard of Chicago, told USA TODAY. “The amended indictment changes time periods, as well as alleged victims, as well as entities.
“Moreover, the government can only promise to let us know who the new victim is in the coming weeks.”
His lead lawyer, Steve Greenberg, tweeted the legal team is aware of the indictment.
“We are aware of the superseding indictment. We continue to fight for him and look forward to the day he is free #notguilty #rkelly,” the tweet read.
Kelly, 53, is currently being held at the federal detention facility in Chicago. His most recent court date was last week in Brooklyn in the New York federal case, when he appeared via video feed from Chicago.
USA TODAY has reached out to prosecutors.
Kelly will be arraigned under the reworked indictment. That could happen March 5, a date set previously for a status hearing. The trial date remains April 27, though that will likely be pushed to later this year.
It’s unclear why Minor 2 no longer appears to be on the prosecutors’ list of alleged victims.
Kelly has already entered not guilty pleas to more than a dozen sex-crime charges filed against him in two federal courts (Illinois and New York) and two state courts (Illinois and Minnesota) since February 2019.
As it currently stands, Kelly is tentatively scheduled to face trial in the federal case in Chicago in April and in the federal case in New York in July, with the state case in Chicago scheduled for September. The new developments could result in the April trial date being pushed back.
If these dates hold, he would face trials in three courts in two states in a six-month period of 2020.
Kelly has denied sexually abusing anyone.
Contributing: The Associated Press