Convicted singer R. Kelly has been transferred from a correctional facility in Illinois to a medium-security federal prison in North Carolina.
The Grammy-winning artist, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was moved to FCI Butner Medium I, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
The facility is described as a “medium security federal correctional institution with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp.” It’s located in Butner, just outside Durham and houses a total of 771 inmates.
A federal prison official told the Associated Press that Kelly was moved on April 19. The spokesperson declined to say why the singer was transferred, citing inmate privacy, safety and security concerns.
In February of this year, a federal judge in Chicago sentenced Kelly to 20 years in prison for child pornography and enticement of minors.
The sentencing came in addition to the superstar singer’s previous 30-year sentence on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges in Brooklyn, New York.
The “Ignition” performer maintained his innocence throughout both cases.
Last week, his legal team headed back to court to appeal his conviction in New York. The attorneys argued that the government did not meet its burden of proof in court, CNN reported.
The singer’s attorneys also said he didn’t get a fair trial in Brooklyn because at least four jurors were familiar with the sex trafficking accusations after some of them watched the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.
For years, Kelly was followed by accusations of sexual misconduct and child molestation, even as he climbed the music charts and rose to massive success.
The legendary singer, songwriter and producer was one of the most popular artists in R&B music in the 1990s and 2000s.
His hit “I Believe I Can Fly” won him three Grammys in 1998. Among his other mega-hits were “Bump n’ Grind,” “Trapped In The Closet,” “I Wish,” “Step In The Name of Love,” “Fiesta” and “When a Woman’s Fed Up.”
He was acquitted in a 2008 state trial in Chicago on child pornography charges.
The allegations against Kelly received renewed attention when Lifetime unveiled Surviving R. Kelly in January 2019, and followed it up with Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, which detailed decades of alleged abuse.
One of his brothers said in Surviving R. Kelly that the superstar artist was molested by a neighbor as a child.
Surviving R. Kelly: The Final Chapter aired earlier this year. It recounted his first federal trial and included graphic accounts of alleged abuse, including claims that the singer forced young women to eat his feces to prove their loyalty.
“Once you’ve reached a one year anniversary, that’s what you do — eat his feces and drink urine,” said accuser Jerhonda Pace. “He wants you to prove that you are loyal to him and really loved him, and that you two were bonded. It was something that happened quite often.”
Prosecutors across the nation began to dig into Kelly’s past after the first installments of the docuseries aired.
The woman allegedly seen in the sex tape that led to Kelly’s 2008 state trial, told the court in his second federal trial that she was just 14 years old when the tape was recorded. Kelly was about 30 at the time.
The woman testified that Kelly had sex with her “hundreds” of times before she turned 18.