CANCUN, Mexico – Mexican pop singer Kalimba was jailed Thursday on charges of raping a teenage girl.
Kalimba arrived in the Caribbean city of Chetumal on a Mexican federal government plane after being deported from El Paso, Texas, for immigration violations.
His lawyer, Eliezer Garcia, told the Televisa network that Kalimba was in Texas on a business trip when he was arrested and was not trying to flee.
Prosecutors allege Kalimba raped a 17-year-old girl on Dec. 19 at a hotel in Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo state. A judge issued an arrest warrant against the singer.
Kalimba, 28, has denied the accusations in a case that has received front-page coverage in Mexican newspapers and has been a staple of talk shows.
The singer, whose full name is Kalimba Kadjaly Marichal Ibar, formerly performed with the group OV7. As a child, he performed the singing voice of the young Simba in the Latin American version of the "The Lion King" movie.
Mexican TV footage showed him entering the state prison at 5 a.m. in the morning, wearing a knit cap, jeans and a hooded sweater.
Didier Vazquez, state deputy public safety secretary, said Kalimba — prisoner No. 1,053 — might be held in a separate cell for his safety but would be treated like any other inmate. He will be given a routine psychological exam.
"The important thing is that everyone who enters is a prisoner and will have the same rights and the same obligations as any other person who is imprisoned," Vasquez said.