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False Claim Circulates on Social Media: R. Kelly Did Not Escape from Prison

A viral claim circulating on social media suggests that disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly escaped from a federal prison in Brooklyn just days after receiving a 30-year prison sentence for sex trafficking and racketeering. However, a fact-check reveals that the claim is false.

The Instagram post in question, which garnered over 50,000 likes, includes a caption stating that R. Kelly allegedly escaped and prison officials confirmed his escape through security footage. The post features a mugshot of Kelly and an image of a prison tunnel with the ABC News logo, claiming exclusivity.

Contrary to the social media rumor, there have been no reports from ABC News or any other credible outlet or law enforcement official about R. Kelly escaping. In reality, Kelly has not escaped; he has been transferred from the Brooklyn prison to a Chicago detention center on July 12, according to the Chicago Tribune.

A fact-check by USA TODAY reached out to online users who shared the claim for comment. One Twitter user admitted that he personally never believed it was true but left the post online. The misinformation likely originated from an image associated with a 2015 ABC News report on a prison break at the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.

R. Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is currently an inmate at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, as listed in the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate database. The Brooklyn Detention Center did not release any official reports or comments on Kelly escaping. He was transferred to the Chicago jail on July 12 from Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center ahead of his second federal trial on Aug. 15.

In summary, the claim that R. Kelly escaped from prison is false, and there are no credible reports supporting this unfounded rumor. Kelly remains in custody, and the misinformation likely stems from a misunderstanding or deliberate attempt to spread false information on social media.

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