After receiving four "new" sex tapes from authorities in Florida, police say they have found "no new evidence" that would warrant more criminal child porn charges against Kelly.
Orange County, Florida, sheriff's deputies found the tapes in a rental motor home and handed them over to Chicago police soon after Kelly's indictment on felony child pornography charges early last month. (Kelly was arrested in nearby Polk County, Florida, where he rents a home.)
The tapes--each copies of the same video--featured four different scenes and four different females. But sources say the new footage did not appear to include anyone underage.
"Some segments were segments that we had already seen," confirms Chicago police spokesman Dave Bayless. "But there's nothing outside of that that's relevant to the Chicago Police Department's investigation."
Bayless says the tapes will be handed back to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Authorities there say they're not planning to investigate the matter any further.
A spokesman for Kelly said today's news wasn't surprising, given that prosecutors would have had to inform the singer's lawyers about any new evidence in advance.
"This simply confirms what we've been saying all along, that the authorities are so eager to do everything they can to smear R. Kelly and prejudice the jury pool that they'll leak to the press misleading information that turns out to have no basis in fact," the spokesman said. "We knew from the beginning that this was most likely a scurrilous leak."
Kelly pleaded innocent last week to 21 felony counts of child pornography stemming from just one tape--which purportedly shows the 35-year-old Grammy winner having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Singer and former Kelly colleague Sparkle has said the girl on the tape was her niece, whose name has been withheld because of her age. The girl and her family, however, deny she's on the tape.
A widely bootlegged videotape billed as R. Kelly Triple-X, circulated in major cities and on the Internet, contains footage of a man who's purportedly Kelly engaging in sex with several females. A former backup dancer has sued the singer for invasion of privacy, accusing Kelly of taping them without permission and then failing to prevent the footage from getting released publicly. (She is 33 and admits the sex was consensual.)
Since the tape surfaced in February, Kelly has repeatedly denied the underage sex allegations. He's due back in court August 7.