Two years later R. Kelly in what imprisoned multiple counts of sexual assault and misconduct, his trial in New York begins with jury selection after months of COVID-related delays.
The multi-platinum, Grammy-winning singer and producer, who has been accused of abusing multiple women since the early 1990s, is also awaiting trial in his home state of Illinois.
On Monday, a federal court judge in Brooklyn will question potential jurors about whether they can be impartial about Kelly, considering the widely publicized accusations against him. The courtroom is operating under pandemic precautions, limiting the press and the public from overflowing the video-connected courtrooms.
The trial in the Brooklyn district of New York City is an organized crime case that centers on allegations that Kelly ran an elaborate criminal enterprise in which his managers, security and other employees helped him recruit women for sex. at their concerts and elsewhere, including fast food restaurants. .
Kelly has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing; Defense attorneys have claimed that the women, many of whom accused the singer of abuse and imprisonment, were groupies.
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While the allegations against Kelly date back to the early years of her career, and include her annulled marriage in 1994 to the late singer Aaliyah Haughton, whom she allegedly got married when he was just 15 years old via fake ID – was acquitted of multiple charges against him in 2008 and continued to record, tour and, according to the most recent charges, abuse women.
The accusations against the singer began to resurface in 2013, but it was only in early 2019, when the Documentary for life Surviving R. Kelly On air for the first time, public opinion leaned heavily against the singer and he was eventually arrested and jailed on updated charges. He was indicted in Brooklyn in July 2019.
However, Kelly, 54, has spent most of that time in federal jail in Chicago. He was transferred last month to the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Last week, a defense attorney requested that the singer be provided with court transcripts because “his funds are exhausted.”
Opening statements are scheduled to begin on August 18.
Kelly’s relationship with Aaliyah will also be the subject of the Brooklyn audience. Kelly met the singer when she was 12 through her manager Barry Hankerson, who was Aaliyah’s uncle.
Kelly reportedly began a professional and personal relationship with the singer when she was a minor, producing her debut album. Age is nothing but a number And supposedly marrying her through a fake ID acquired through a bribeand, according to court documents, get her pregnant. She is identified as “Jane Doe # 1” in court documents because she was still a minor at the time of the relationship.
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“As a result, in an effort to protect himself from criminal charges related to his illegal sexual relationship with Jane Doe # 1, Kelly made arrangements to secretly marry her to avoid being forced to testify against him in the future,” say the newspapers. , according to the Associated Press.
Aaliyah broke contact with Kelly shortly after the marriage was annulled and continued her career, releasing two albums under Hankerson’s Blackground label before dying in a plane crash in 2001.
While most of Aaliyah’s recordings have been absent from streaming services due to disputes between Hankerson and her mother (her sister), Blackground last week announced plans to begin relaunching the recordings. It was unclear at the time of this article’s publication whether the announcement was scheduled to coincide with the start of Kelly’s trial.
Kelly is also charged with sexual misconduct charges in Illinois and Minnesota. He has also pleaded not guilty to them.
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