Criminal investigations into R. Kelly's alleged sexual abuse are heating up. According to the New Yorker, the disgraced R&B singer is now the subject of multiple probes on both the state and federal levels.
Sexual misconduct allegations have plagued Kelly's career for decades. In 1996, Tiffany Hawkins sued the singer for personal injuries and emotional distress, claiming she began having sex with the singer in the early 1990s when she was 15 and he was 24. Since then, multiple women have come forth to accuse the 52-year-old artist of sexual abuse—allegations that were recently highlighted in the explosive docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.
In the weeks following the series' premiere, prosecutors and law enforcement officials have launched investigations into Kelly's alleged crimes, which include rape, kidnapping, and child pornography. On Monday, it was reported that a grand jury convened in Cook County, Illinois, in connection to a video that allegedly shows Kelly engaging in sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl. A second grand jury has been seated in the Southern District of New York, based on F.B.I. and the I.R.S. investigations concerning Kelly. And now, the New Yorker reports the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is collecting evidence against the embattled singer and is expected to present their findings to a third grand jury in the Eastern District of New York.
DHS' investigative division, which combats sex trafficking, is gathering information about a girl who became involved with Kelly in 2015 when she was still underage. The girl's family claims their daughter became part of a sex cult and has been held against her will.
Per the New Yorker: "The D.H.S. investigation is looking, in part, at charges that Kelly transported girls across state lines 'for immoral purposes,' in violation of the White-Slave Traffic Act, from 1910, which is more commonly known as the Mann Act."
A DHS spokesperson declined to "confirm or deny the existence of investigations."
On Thursday, two more women came forward accusing Kelly of sexual misconduct. The alleged victims, Rochelle Washington and Latresa Scaff, claim the singer solicited sex from them in 1995 when they were still underage. Kelly allegedly took advantage of Scoff and had sex with her while she was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.