R. Kelly: A history of the charges and crimes leveled against him

September 2019 will see R. Kelly in court

The popular Randamp;B singer R. Kelly has been accused of sexual abuse for more than 20 years.

Many of the accounts centered on the predatory pursuit of adolescent girls and dated back to the beginning of his career in the 1990s.

He was convicted of eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering in a New York court in 2022, and he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Months later, in a second federal trial in Chicago, he was found guilty of sexually abusing children.

The singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, will likewise be prosecuted in Minnesota for alleged sexual misconduct.

Kelly, who experienced child sex abuse firsthand, wrote in his autobiography about how, when he was eight years old, a female family member sexually assaulted him.

The allegations made against him are detailed here.

Kelly, who was 27 at the time, married singer Aaliyah, 15, in a private ceremony in Chicago.

Later, Vibe magazine discovered Aaliyah had lied about her age on the marriage license, declaring herself to be 18.  The marriage was annulled in February 1995.

Kelly bribed a government employee in 1994 to get a fake ID for Aaliyah so the singers could get married, according to testimony from a former tour manager for Kelly at his trial.

Aaliyah avoided questions about the nature of her relationship for the rest of her professional life. In response to inquiries, she stated to one interviewer, "Hey, don't believe all that mess. "People misunderstood because we're close. ".

Age Ain't Nothing But A Number, the name Kelly gave to Aaliyah's debut album, was written and produced by her.

Kelly rarely spoke about Aaliyah after she died in a plane crash in 2001. She isn't mentioned in his autobiography, which includes a note from the author explaining that "certain episodes could not be included for complicated reasons.".

He called them "best, best, best, best friends" in an interview with GQ magazine from 2016 but refrained from discussing their marriage, stating, "I will never have that conversation with anyone.  Out of respect for Aaliyah, and her mother and father who have asked me not to personally. ".

After dating R. Kelly for three years, Tiffany Hawkins filed a lawsuit against the actress for "personal injuries and emotional distress.".

In court documents, she said she began having sex with Kelly in 1991, when she was 15 and he was 24, and the relationship ended when she turned 18. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Ms. Hawkins requested $10 million in damages but settled for only a portion of that sum ($250,000).

Kelly's spokesperson claimed that she was "unaware" of the allegations.

R Kelly
As allegations against Kelly mounted, he kept releasing hit songs and taking home significant awards.

Tracy Sampson sued R. Kelly, accusing him of inducing her "into an indecent sexual relationship" when she was 17.

The woman, a former intern at Epic Records, said she was "treated as his personal sex object and cast aside".

She claimed that he frequently tried to dictate every facet of her life, including the people she saw and the places she went.  The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, according to the New York Post.

Kelly is sued by Patrice Jones, a Chicago woman who claimed he impregnated her when she was under age, and that she was forced to have an abortion.

Montina Woods also sued Kelly, alleging that he videotaped them having sex without her knowledge.  The recording was allegedly circulated on a "sex tape" sold by bootleggers under the title R. Kelly Triple-X.

The singer reached out-of-court settlements in both cases, paying unspecified amounts in exchange for confidentiality agreements.

He is charged with 21 counts of making child sexual abuse videos involving various sexual acts.

Chicago police accused him of taping the acts and enticing a minor to participate in them.  All the charges related to one girl, born in September 1984.

His arrest stemmed from a video that was sent anonymously to the Chicago Sun Times earlier in the year.  They passed it on to police, who verified its authenticity with help from FBI forensic experts.

Kelly, who posted $750,000 bail, immediately denied the charges in an interview with MTV and later pleaded not guilty in court.

It took six years for the case to come to trial, during which time Kelly released his wildly successful Trapped In The Closet album and was nominated for an Image Award by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), prompting widespread criticism.

The jury eventually concluded they could not prove that the girl on the tape was a minor, and Kelly was found not guilty on all counts.

Kelly was charged with a further 12 counts of producing child sexual abuse images in Florida, where he was arrested at his holiday home.

These charges came after police seized a camera during the arrest, which allegedly contained images of him having sex with an underage girl.

The charges were dropped when a judge agreed with Kelly's defence team that police lacked sufficient evidence to justify a search.

A long and detailed Buzzfeed report accused R. Kelly of trapping six women in a sex "cult".

The article alleged that Kelly seduced young women when they approached him for help with their music careers, before taking control of their lives - dictating "what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records".

Kelly also confiscated the women's mobile phones, the report said, barring contact with friends and family.

The allegations came from three former employees and the parents of several women, who said their daughters had all but vanished.

Buzzfeed's report prompted further allegations.   .

Jerhonda Pace broke a non-disclosure agreement to speak about having sex with Kelly while she was underage.  Another woman, Kitti Jones, claimed the star starved her, coerced her into sexual encounters with other women and physically abused her.  Ms Pace would go on to testify against Kelly in the 2021 trial.

Ms Kitti, along with other members of R. Kelly's inner circle, also spoke to a BBC Three documentary in March 2018.  One former friend and collaborator, Lovell Jones, said Kelly asked him to scout out women "that looked young" at parties, and claimed that it was "common knowledge" that the singer preferred young girls.

The MuteRKelly campaign lobbied record label RCA to sever ties with the singer.  They also targeted concert promoters, ticket sellers and streaming services - with Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora all agreeing to demote Kelly's songs from their playlists (a decision that was later reversed).

Around the same time, the star's lawyer, publicist and personal assistant all quit - although attorney Linda Mensch said her departure was "unrelated to any allegations related to Mr Kelly's social life".

Kelly continued to perform live despite protests outside his shows, and was filmed saying the campaign against him was "too late".

"Only God can mute me," he sang defiantly on a song called I Admit.  "Am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinion?".

Meanwhile, the star was sued by a former partner who said he "intentionally" infected her with a sexually transmitted disease.

Over the course of six hour-long episodes, Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly presented the most comprehensive look yet at the allegations against the musician.

Two weeks after the programme was broadcast, Kelly was dropped by his record company.  Planned concerts in the US and New Zealand were cancelled.

In February, celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti said he had obtained a video showing Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl.  Weeks later, Kelly was charged in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.  He pleaded not guilty and gave a histrionic TV interview.

Prosecutors later filed an additional 11 charges of sexual assault and abuse against a minor aged between 13 and 16.

The charging documents described sex and oral sex with a minor "by the use of force or threat of force".  The accuser was thought to be one of the women featured in Surviving R. Kelly, who said she met the singer during a previous trial.

R Kelly
R. Kelly appears for a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois.

Kelly was hit with two separate federal indictments in Illinois and Brooklyn.   .

Combined, the allegations depicted an organised effort from the singer and his associates to recruit and transport underage girls over state lines for illegal sexual purposes, including the production of child sex abuse images, as well as conspiracy to obstruct justice by destroying evidence and bribing or threatening witnesses.

Prosecutors in Minnesota filed prostitution charges against R. Kelly, meaning he faced criminal cases in three US states.

He was accused of soliciting a teenager who asked him for an autograph in 2001.  Kelly allegedly invited the 17-year-old to his hotel room and offered her $200 (£164) to undress and dance with him.

Kelly's lawyer said the charges were "beyond absurd".

R. Kelly in court in September 2019
R. Kelly in court in September 2019.

Towards the end of August, Kelly was attacked in his sleep by a fellow inmate in Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Centre.

His lawyer called for his immediate release, saying "the government cannot ensure his safety".  However, the request - along with numerous other attempts to get Kelly released on bail - was denied.

In the last pre-trial hearing before Kelly's trial, US District Judge Ann M Donnelly made a series of rulings to narrow down what evidence could be shown to jurors.

During the hearing, she asked one of the singer's lawyers whether they denied the star had sexual relations with Aaliyah while she was underage.

According to the Associated Press, Thomas A Farinella "let out a deep sigh and responded, 'No. '".

The trial began on 18 August in New York.

Read more about the trial:.

On 27 September, following two days of deliberation, the jury found R. Kelly guilty on all nine counts.

Gloria Allred, a lawyer who represented several victims, told reporters: "I've been practising law for 47 years.  During this time, I've pursued many sexual predators who have committed crimes against women and children.

"Of all the predators that I have pursued, Mr Kelly is the worst. ".

A man was sentenced to eight years in prison after intimidating a witness before Kelly's New York trial.

In June 2020, Michael Williams set fire to a car belonging to the father of a witness who was due to testify in order to "prevent the victim-witness from continuing to co-operate", according a statement from the attorney's office in New York.

"Williams attempted to use violence and intimidation to divert the course of justice and prevent a victim's voice from being heard," they said.

Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his celebrity status to sexually abuse children and women.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly said the singer had an "indifference to human suffering" and had used sex as a weapon, forcing his victims to do unspeakable things while saddling some with sexually transmitted diseases.  "You taught them that love is enslavement and violence," she said.

Some of the women who were abused by the singer described how he had "destroyed so many people's lives" as they addressed him in court before he was sentenced.

Lawyers for Kelly said he would appeal.

Kelly has a "dark" and "hidden" side that the public rarely saw during his career, prosecutors said at the opening of his second federal trial.

The singer was on trial in his home town, Chicago, for child pornography, obstruction of justice and other charges.

A woman at the heart of the trial testified that the R&B singer had sex with her "hundreds" of times before she turned 18.

R Kelly leaves the Chicago courthouse

The 37-year-old woman, known as Jane, said improper contact with Kelly began when she was just 13.

His lawyers have insisted he is not "a monster" and deserves a fair trial.

The disgraced star was found guilty of child sexual abuse in his second federal trial.

The jury convicted him on six out of 13 counts after a four-week case in Chicago.

He was acquitted of fixing a state trial on child pornography charges in 2008.

R.  Kelly's former manager was sentenced to 20 months in prison for stalking and harassing one of the singer's victims.

Donnell Russell pleaded guilty in July to using threats and intimidation to silence one of the women Kelly abused.

Using an alias, he published explicit photos of her online in an attempt to stop her testifying against his client.

A Chicago prosecutor said she was dropping sexual abuse and assault charges dating back as far as 1998 against Kelly, who was already facing decades in prison.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said her office "will no longer be pursuing these indictments", adding: "Sometimes justice is served even when there is no conviction. ".

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