Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault, and rape. If you or someone you know are affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Disgraced musician R. Kelly is facing charges pertaining to his marriage to the late singer Aaliyah in 1994 when she was 15-years-old.
As The Times reports, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have accused Kelly of bribing an Illinois government employee on August 30th, 1994 to obtain a fake ID for Aaliyah.
The following day, Kelly, aged 27 at the time, married Aaliyah Dana Haughton in a private hotel ceremony in Chicago. The ID was used to obtain a marriage license that stated her age as 18. The marriage was eventually annulled in the following months because of Haughton’s age.
This is just one of many charges laid against Kelly this year. It amplifies an existing racketeering indictment filed against Kelly that accuses him of sexually exploiting underage girls and coercing them into participating in illegal sexual activities. This year, Kelly has been charged in several jurisdictions on allegations pertaining to sexually abusing minors. He is currently facing 18 federal counts, including child pornography, kidnapping and forced labour.
Kelly’s allegations of sexual misconduct have been public knowledge for years, however, the case picked up steam this year following the release of the documentary Lifetime documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed many of the accusations made against the artist. The docuseries delved deep into Kelly’s “sex cult” from his Chicago home, his physical abuse of women and claims of sexual activity with minors. You can read an outline of Kelly’s history of abuse here.