Even if he was never put away on his accusations, R. Kelly is known across the country as the manipulative man who likes little girls.
After 20 years of sex crimes, Robert Sylvester Kelly, American singer-songwriter, currently faces his third federal trial in Brooklyn, which started in mid-August. R. Kelly pleaded not guilty, so now the remaining question is: where does the trial go from here?
Before we get into case updates, here’s a list of the previous allegations against R. Kelly. It’s a long one.
The first example was with Aaliyah Dana Haughton, R. Kelly’s “protégé.” According to the New York Times, R. Kelly produced her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” in 1994. The two singers had been extremely close during this period of her uprising—a little too close it seems.
Around three months after her debut, R. Kelly, at the age of 27, married Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. The wedding certificates had been forged by a personal assistant of Kelly to say Aaliyah was 18 instead.
Kelly was sued by four other women in 1996, 2001 and 2002. Following these cases, Kelly was charged with “21 counts of making child pornography” in the June 2002 arrest.
It took the case five years to get to court and by June 2008, “after less than a full day of deliberations — a jury acquitted him of all charges.”
After a period of nine years, accusations surfaced about the artist “trapping six women in a sex ‘cult’” according to BBC News. This started the “#MuteRKelly campaign” which stirred and sky-rocketed in the media, due to the recurring allegations that continued to arise.
The #MuteRKelly campaign is still active today, holding their own website that has active updates on the R. Kelly trial, as well as, updates on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. It is a trending hashtag on most social media platforms.
When the six episode Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” was released on Jan. 3, 2019, all hell broke loose for the musician.
Everyone’s heads whipped in Kelly’s direction, especially when the State’s Attorney’s Office “began to receive “numerous” calls alleging abuse …”
Kelly was charged with ten counts of sexual abuse in Februrary, 11 sexual offences in May, before finally being arrested in July, all in the year of 2019. Kelly was arrested on charges of sex trafficking, child abuse, and obstruction of justice, being “hit with two separate federal indictments in Illinois and Brooklyn.”
Now, about two years later, the Brooklyn court case comes to light as R. Kelly pleads guilty to all charges including “sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual trafficking across state lines.”
On the first day of the trial, the opening statement from the prosecuting side claimed “This case is about a predator.” The attorney’s statement was a shocking, but capturing statement for all eyes and ears in the courtroom.
The New York case has charges from six different women against Kelly in the trial. They are known as Jane Doe’s for now, but “the women accusers who testify will be called only by their first name in court.”
The description of the first charge, “Jane Doe #1” matches the description of Aaliyah. The claim of a sudden marriage at the age of 15 when the victim believed she was pregnant references a scene in the documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly” when describing Aaliyah’s situation. This is the first time her case has been talked about in the courtroom, occurring about twenty years after her death, according to The New Yorker.
Another woman, her first name Addie, claimed R. Kelly “raped her after a concert in the mid-90s when she was just 17.”
The girl had gone with her friend to watch Aaliyah perform at a concert in Miami. Addie and her friend were approached and invited to go backstage, for an autograph, by Kelly’s security guards. Once Addie had told Kelly her real age, the room was cleared except for the singer, Addie, and her friend. Kelly had initiated a “kissing game” and aggressively forced her into sex “without a condom” she explained in court.
After Addie’s testimony, the first male accuser against R. Kelly took the stand. The man, using the pseudonym, Louis, told the jury that Kelly had sexually abused him when he was only 17.
According to NBC, the witness told the jury that “Kelly lured him to his Chicago-area home in 2007 with false offers of helping him with his fledgling music career.” Kelly had performed oral sex on Louis. The witness told the court that he kept seeing Kelly after that because he “really wanted to make it into the music industry.”
Another testifying woman, using only her first name, Faith, accused Kelly of “exposing her to herpes.” She told the jury that he didn’t tell her about the disease before intercourse and he had refused to use a condom.
Adding to stack was another recent surprise in the case against Kelly, from the minister who officiated the marriage between Aaliyah Dana Haughton and Robert Kelly. He spoke publicly about the event and testified on Sept. 1, according to CNN.
“I didn’t understand it at all,” the minister, Edmund, testified. Edmund claims Kelly had given him a non-disclosure agreement before the wedding, which he didn’t sign. Although, he’s never publicly talked about the case until he was subpoenaed by the court.
Robert Kelly, a previous star referred to as “the King of R&B” is now facing “anywhere from 10 years to life in prison if convicted of the federal charges” in this trial.
After the case closes in New York, the Chicago trial lingers right around the corner, waiting to deal with Robert Kelly’s fate.
Jaedyn Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.