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R. Kelly faces new sex abuse charges in Minnesota

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The sprawling sex abuse scandal involving R&B singer R. Kelly expanded on Monday to the state of Minnesota, where charges against him include engaging in prostitution with a minor.

The new charges come days after the disgraced superstar pleaded not guilty in New York to federal charges including racketeering, which allege he systematically recruited girls for sex while touring.

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He faces separate federal charges linked to child pornography in his hometown Chicago.

Along with the felony count of prostitution with a minor, Kelly also faces one count of soliciting a minor for sexual purposes, the attorney’s office for Hennepin County, which includes the state’s most populous city of Minneapolis, announced.

County attorney Mike Freeman told journalists the charges are related to an incident dating to July 11, 2001, when a victim under 18 years old was attempting to obtain an autograph from Kelly, known for hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly.”

The 52-year-old artist gave her the autograph along with a phone number, and after she called, she was invited to his hotel, Freeman said.

When the girl arrived, “she was offered $200 to take off her clothes and dance for him,” he said. “After accepting the $200, she got naked and they proceeded to dance.”

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Freeman, who dubbed the incident “simply not acceptable,” said sexual contact occurred but not intercourse.

She was then granted VIP access to one of his concerts, which was meant to be for adults 18 and over.

It is unclear when or whether the musician, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, will appear in Minnesota to face the new charges.

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Following his recent arraignment in New York, it was expected Kelly would return to Chicago, where he must attend a status hearing on September 4 in a case involving child pornography.

He was denied bond in both Chicago and New York.

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Prior to his arrest in July over the federal indictments, Kelly had been out on bond in connection with state felony charges of aggravated sexual assault in Chicago’s Cook County criminal court.

Kelly has a decades-long history of abuse allegations, especially of underage girls, but for years maintained a solid fan base, performed and won awards.

He began facing renewed scrutiny earlier this year upon the release of the docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which nabbed an Emmy nomination for outstanding informational series or special.

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Jared Kushner’s ties to Saudis could be fair game if Trump keeps going after Hunter Biden: Dem lawmaker

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) laid out the case for impeaching President Donald Trump — and warned of the consequences for Trump's own family at the hands of future presidents if he is allowed to get away with it.

"He abused his power by trying to trade government resources for a political favor, to knock out a political rival in Joe Biden, the guy that he thought would emerge as nominee for 2020," said Castro. "We can't set a precedent where Congress says it's okay for a president to do that, because if we do that then a few things will happen. Number one, it opens the door for Donald Trump to do it again or a future president to do it again. To ask a country to interfere in our elections and knock out a political rival by digging up dirt."

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Melania Trump scorched by columnist for standing by president’s Thunberg bullying: ‘Indefensible’

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In a piece for the Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty called out first lady Melania Trump for her statement defending her husband's bullying of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in a fit of jealousy after she was selected Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

Responding to a statement from the White House that stated, “BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy,” Tumulty wasn't having it.

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BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble

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On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?

"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.

These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.

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