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#minorsextrafficking | What Is R.Kelly’s Infamous Sex Trafficking Case?


R. Kelly is found guilty of sex trafficking and has been sentenced to 30-year in prison. One of the most well-known R&B artists of the 1990s, Kelly, was found guilty on nine charges of racketeering in September 2021, involving acts of bribery and child sexual exploitation.

The conclusion of a lengthy, slow build of decades-old claims was his sentence, which came on Wednesday in Brooklyn.

Kelly was sentenced following his conviction for exploiting his stardom and money to entice women and minor girls into his orbit for sex.

Who is R.Kelly?

AFP

Kelly, a recording artist, was nicknamed “the King of R&B,” “the King of Pop-Soul,” and the “Pied Piper of R&B” for his role in redefining R&B and hip hop. His extensive repertoire of hits from 3 decades is what made him famous. As one of the best-selling artists in the world and the most successful male R&B performer of the 1990s, he has sold over 75 million copies worldwide.

He received 3 Grammy Awards for the song “I Believe I Can Fly.” For various artists, he has written, produced, and remixed songs, singles, and albums. He was also nominated for a Grammy for “You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson.

Kelly has a long history of being accused of abusing both minors and young women sexually. He faced numerous civil lawsuits and was criminally charged in Chicago, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota. He strongly denied the allegations.

In his 2012 book “Soulacoaster,” Kelly also asserted that he had experienced sexual assault as a child starting at the age of 10 from a male family member and continued into his teenage years from a female family friend.

Who is R. Kelly’s wife?

Kelly reportedly married a minor in violation of the law in 1994. Aaliyah, a 15-year-old artist, was married to Kelly, 27, after he bribed someone to provide his wife with a fake Id claiming she was 18.

Kelly had met Aaliyah through her uncle Barry Hankerson, just 3 years before when she was 12 years old. Later, a witness claimed that Kelly started having a sexual relationship with Aaliyah when she was 13 or 14 years old.

WireImage

‘Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, Kelly’s debut album, was written and recorded in 1994.

Kelly said that Aaliyah was just 14 a year before their wedding, in a video that was released in 2019.  Later, it was revealed by Vibe magazine that Aaliyah had illegally stated she was 18 on the wedding certificate. The marriage was deemed unlawful in February 1995.

Aaliyah later died in an aircraft crash in the Bahamas after the two splits in 1998. She had just turned 22. He got married to Andrea, his second wife, in 1996. His 3 children were raised by her until their divorce in 2009. His wife filed for divorce in 2005 after a physical altercation with the singer.

Series of cases against Kelly

Inappropriate sexual contact with a minor has been the subject of numerous lawsuits against Kelly (each time, he reached an out-of-court settlement), and he eventually faced charges of creating child pornography. The other person in his infamous sex tape could not be definitively identified as a kid, thus the jury ruled him not guilty.

AFP

According to the Northern Illinois U.S. Attorney’s office, Kelly is accused of several offences, including 5 counts of enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and 4 counts of producing child pornography.

In 1996, Singer Tiffany Hawkins filed a lawsuit where she claimed that Kelly had a sexual relationship with her as an underage high school student beginning in 1991 when she was 15 years old, encouraged her to enlist the help of her classmates, and coerced her into having group sex with other minor girls. Kelly and Hawkins resolved a 250,00 dollar settlement in their legal dispute in 1998.

Kelly was accused of approaching females as young as 15 years old using his fame to force them into having sex with him, according to a report that was initially published in December 2000 by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Child pornography

DeRogatis, a Chicago reporter, claimed to have acquired two tapes of Kelly allegedly having sex with minors around 2002. He hands them up to the Chicago police. The police charged Kelly with 21 charges of child pornography after seeing the second video recording DeRogatis sent them.

However, he posts bail and pleads not guilty. 

Kelly was then detained while filming a music video and charged with 12 more counts of child pornography after obscene photos were discovered in his house. Two months later, however, a Florida judge ruled that the pictures had been unlawfully seized, and the charges were dropped.

AFP

The trail stretches on for years due to a series of unlikely circumstances. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted on all counts. Jurors claim they cannot be certain of the identification of the girl who is allegedly on the tape since she has refused to testify.

Kelly’s career thereafter continued in full swing. DeRogatis, however, publishes a new investigation into Kelly’s wrongdoings on Buzzfeed, which claims that Kelly is keeping women against their own will in an abusive “cult” and that Kelly is doing this without their consent. According to the women who were interviewed, Kelly lived with 6 women and “controls every aspect of their lives.” They were referred to as “former members of Kelly’s inner circle.”

Faith Rodgers accuses Kelly of sexual battery in a lawsuit she brings against him in New York. Later, she claims that Kelly used retaliation threats to try and intimidate her. 

More charges

A six-hour Lifetime documentary series called Surviving R. Kelly examines accusations made against Kelly stretching back to the early 1990s. Siblings, journalists, and accusers who claim Kelly coerced them into having sex with him as underage girls and mistreated them mentally and physically were all interviewed in more than 50 interviews.

AFP

Kelly was once again accused of misconduct in 2018, this time by a former partner who claimed that Kelly “deliberately” infected her with an STD. R. Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea alleges in a divorce court document that was disclosed in 2020 that R. Kelly was accused of molesting a teenage girl in 2009.

Kelly was taken into custody in 2019 on fresh federal allegations related to events in New York. He is charged with 13 counts, including sending and receiving child porn and encouraging illegal intercourse from children.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are now presenting their case that Kelly was the head of a criminal organisation who “used his celebrity, popularity, and the people at his disposal to target and groom kids, boys, and underage women for his sexual pleasure,” for over 2 years after his arrest. The federal jury in New York finds Kelly guilty of the counts against 5 victims after a seven-week trial.

What is the status of the cases?

Kelly entered a not guilty plea on Thursday, July 16, and a judge ordered him jailed without bail since he is “an immense danger to the community, especially to underage women,” according to a federal prosec

Next, on August 15, a federal trial is scheduled to start in Chicago.  

The other two cases are state-level proceedings: a solicitation case in Hennepin County, Minnesota, and a multi-count sex abuse case in Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago.



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