Detroit police investigating woman's claim about R. Kelly assault

George Hunter
The Detroit News
Musician R. Kelly arrives at the Daley Center for a hearing in his child support case at the Daley Center, Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Chicago.

Detroit police want to talk to a woman who claims singer R. Kelly molested her during a Detroit tour stop in 2001 when she was 13, Detroit police Chief James Craig said Wednesday.

Chicago investigators contacted Detroit police “a few weeks ago” after the woman, who no longer lives in Michigan, called Chicago authorities and said the R&B artist had sex with her, Craig said.

Craig said the woman referred Detroit investigators to her attorney.

“Our detectives immediately reached out to Wayne County prosecutors, and we reached out to the alleged victim on the 25th of February,” Craig said. “The alleged victim referred us to her attorney. The assistant prosecutor called her back on the 28th of February, and once again she said to talk to her attorney.”

Craig said he sent an email Wednesday to the woman’s lawyer, noted attorney Gloria Allred, although he said late Wednesday she hadn’t gotten back to him.

Allred told the News Wednesday night said she could "neither confirm nor deny that I represent this individual. I have no comment." 

“We take these allegations seriously, and we want to talk to the alleged victim,” Craig said. “But without her cooperation, the investigation is at a standstill.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement that "the matter is under investigation by the police at this time."

Kelly was arrested earlier Wednesday by Cook County Sheriff’s deputies after failing to comply with a judge’s order that he pay more than $161,000 in back child support.

Last month, the singer was indicted in Cook County on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Prosecutors say he abused four victims — three of them underage girls — over a 12-year period. Kelly denies the allegations.

Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, did not immediately respond Wednesday night to a request for comment.

Kelly has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse for years. He was charged in 2002 with child pornography after Cook County prosecutors said he made a sex tape with his teenage goddaughter, although he was acquitted by a jury in 2008.

In the most recent allegations, prosecutors claim Kelly tried to force his 24-year-old hairdresser to have oral sex with him in 2003, while he was free on bond on the child porn charges.

Prosecutors also say Kelly picked up an underage girl near the courthouse during his 2008 trial, and that he later sexually abused; and that he had another sexual relationship with a girl he met in 1998 when she was celebrating her 16th birthday. Prosecutors further allege that Kelly videotaped himself having sex with an underage girl in the late 1990s.

"CBS This Morning" Wednesday aired Kelly's first interview since he was charged. Kelly said "all of (the victims) are lying," and blamed social media for the allegations. "I have been buried alive, but I'm alive," the singer said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.