R. Kelly was arraigned last week on 21 child-pornography charges, but he may not be the only adult to be held criminally responsible for his treatment of the 14-year-old girl on the notorious sex video. The Illinois Department of Child and Family services announced Monday that it is reopening its investigation of the girl’s parents, saying it had received tips that they allowed her to see the singer, knowing that he would have sex with her.
The department said it had questioned the family twice before, in 2000 and 2001, but did not have enough evidence to act until this year, when the tape surfaced and Kelly was arrested. The girl and her parents have denied allegations that Kelly was having sex with her or that she is the girl on the tape, though FBI forensics experts say she is. (Kelly’s attorney, Ed Genson, has denied that the girl on the tape is a minor, though he hasn’t confirmed or denied whether the man on the tape is Kelly, as investigators assert.) The department says that if it finds the parents allowed their daughter to have sex with Kelly, that would constitute abusive or neglectful conduct and could be grounds for the department to remove the girl and any siblings she may have from the parents’ custody.
Meanwhile, Kelly himself is under further investigation for a church concert he performed in on Friday, hours after he posted bond in Chicago, in which he led a choir whose members included two dozen kindergarteners. That could be seen as a violation of the order, issued the day before when he posted bond in Florida after his arrest there, that he stay away from all minors who are not related to him. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office tells the Chicago Tribune that it will bring the matter before a judge to determine whether Kelly is in violation. But Genson insists that the no-kids provision was a condition of the Florida bond only, not the Chicago bond. ”When he surrendered in Chicago, the Florida bond was no longer valid,” he tells the paper. ”There were no conditions on the Illinois bond.”