Last month it was revealed the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois was conducting an investigation to determine if R. Kelly was involved in sex trafficking.
Now TMZ reports that those federal prosecutors will convene a grand jury later this month to hear how the singer allegedly arranged meetings for sex with underage girls by flying them to his location and setting up hotel rooms.
It’s also been reported that prosecutors have a bevy of evidence to present to the grand jury, including text messages and emails that show Kelly’s handlers set up meetings with underage girls. They’ll present an article of clothing with a semen stain on it as well.
The Illinois case is separate from two other probes out of New York’s Eastern and Southern District and different from the 10 counts of sexual abuse charges Kelly received in February.
Meanwhile, the singer appeared in a Chicago courtroom on Tuesday to challenge the two sex tapes that lawyer Michael Avenatti turned in to prosecutors that allegedly depict him abusing a 14-year-old girl.
Kelly’s attorneys have implied that Avenatti “bullied or just simply manipulated” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to bring charges.
The singer’s attorneys also pointed to the Jussie Smollett case, since Foxx dropped the 16-count indictment against the actor in March, and as a result Kelly’s lawyers say she’s “able to be influenced and wowed.”
But the judge told Kelly’s lawyers they would need to be specific in regard to the concerns they have about Avenatti and Foxx’s communication, and they just can’t imply that something fishy was going on between them.
The lawyers also asked the judge to have the communication between Foxx and Avenatti preserved but didn’t give a reason why it was necessary. So the judge told them to come back and properly explain.
Avenatti, however, said those communications were already published by the Chicago Tribune and are totally out in the open.