R. Kelly’s trial began earlier this week in Brooklyn and new details emerged relating to the charges he’s facing. The disgraced R&B singer is facing charges including forced labor, kidnapping, sex trafficking, and several violations of the Mann Act. The act makes it a criminal offense to transport “any woman or girl” across state lines for “immoral purposes.” New details emerged regarding his relationship with Aaliyah.
According to XXL, Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez’s opening statement alleged that R. Kelly and Aaliyah married in 1994. At the time, Kelly was 27 and Aaliyah was 15 years old.
It was also revealed that prosecutors have reason to believe R. Kelly discovered Aaliyah suspected she was pregnant. Kelly thought marrying Aaliyah would prevent her from testifying against him in court if it was revealed that he impregnated a 15-year-old girl.
XXL report that Cruz Mendez began her opening statement describing a night in 1994 when Kelly received some news about Aaliyah while on tour. “She thought that she was pregnant. This, of course, was a huge problem for him,” Melendez Cruz states. “At the time Aaliyah was only 15 years old and if she was pregnant, that meant that there would be questions, a lot of questions. At the very top of that list of questions would be: Who is the father of that baby?”
The Assistant District Attorney continued saying that Kelly and his circle devised a plan to prevent Aaliyah from talking and keep him out of jail. Describing the plan she says, “the defendant decided that he needed to marry Aaliyah, that way, as far as he understood, if anyone found out about the pregnancy, about his sexual activity with her, Aaliyah could not talk. In other words, if she’s his wife, then she can’t testify against him, or so he thought.”
Cruz Melendez said that R Kelly then flew to Chicago and met Aaliyah at a hotel to arrange their marriage. As Aaliyah was underage, Kelly allegedly bribed a Chicago public official to get her a fake ID. The ID was to list her as 18 years old so that they could obtain a marriage license.
Kelly has denied the allegations against him including that he had an alleged sexual relationship with Aaliyah. Nicole Blank Becker, one of Kelly’s lawyers, told the court there is no proof that Aaliyah was pregnant. She asked the jury to remain skeptical regarding the alleged fake ID scheme.
R. Kelly is facing multiple sexual misconduct charges in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere. If found guilty Kelly could be facing between 10 years to life in prison.