R. Kelly’s trial has begun in a Brooklyn courtroom this week, and new details have been uncovered in connection to the nine charges he’s facing including, “racketeering and violations to the Mann Act, a federal law that criminalizes any woman or girl being transported for prostitution purposes,” per XXL.
According to court information obtained by the outlet, the disgraced singer’s trial began in New York City on Wednesday, August 18. The Brooklyn District Assistant Maria Cruz Melendez, shocked the courtroom when she revealed that prosecutors believed the marriage between a then-27-year-old R. Kelly and a then-15-year-old Aaliyah, was because the singer found out that Aaliyah could be pregnant. Since Aaliyah at the time was underage, R.Kelly thought that if he married Aaliyan, it would prevent her from testifying against him if anyone ever found out.
“One night in 1994, while the defendant was on tour, he got some news about Aaliyah,” Cruz Melendez’s opening statement began. “She thought that she was pregnant. This, of course, was a huge problem for him. Why? Because 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: “So, the defendant and his circle came up with a plan, a plan that the defendant thought would keep Aaliyah from talking and a plan that would keep him out of jail if anyone found out. His plan: 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.”
R. Kelly was on tour at the time and flew to Chicago to where Aaliyah met him to set up the nuptials at an airport hotel. Kelly’s team allegedly bribed a Chicago public official to get Aaliyah a fake ID to state she was 18-years-old.
They were married on Aug. 31, 1994, and their union was annulled six months later thanks to Aaliyah’s parents.
The singer is facing multiple sexual misconduct charges and it has been recently revealed by a local Chicago news outlet, ABC7, that the singer also allegedly sexually abused teenage boys.
If he is found guilty, Kelly can face between 10 years to life in prison per XXL.