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Recent Sex Crimes Charges Cap Two Decades of Allegations against R. Kelly


Though you may have read the details regarding criminal charges announced in July 2019 against R. Kelly, you may be surprised to learn that allegations of sex crimes have dogged the artist since the early 1990s. The timeline of lawsuits, criminal cases, and other legal issues includes multiple criminal investigations and civil lawsuits, most of which involve allegations of predatory pursuit of women under 18 years old.

You should discuss your rights with a Florida sexual abuse attorney if you have questions about your own experiences, but an overview of R. Kelly’s legal woes may be insightful.

1994 Marriage to Musician Aaliyah: R. Kelly was 27 years old when he married singer Aaliyah, who was then 15. The ceremony went forward based upon a forged marriage certificate, in which Aaliyah lied about being an 18-year-old adult. When the media discovered her true age just over a year later, the marriage was annulled. Aaliyah avoided speaking about the pair’s relationship for years, until she died in a plane crash in 2001.

Statements by R. Kelly since her death indicate that there may have been some legal action, though there were no criminal charges filed. When asked about Aaliyah, Kelly has stated that he’s not allowed to speak about their relationship – per her father. 

2000-2002 Criminal and Civil Cases: R. Kelly’s legal issues continued into the new millennium, starting with a civil case filed by his former intern in 2001. The plaintiff, a woman who was 17 years old at the time of the allegations, accused the artist of engaging in an indecent sexual relationship and inappropriately controlling her life. The parties settled the case out of court.

The following year brought to additional civil suits, both of which involved women who were underage at the time of the misconduct. One accuser said Kelly got her pregnant and then ordered to have an abortion; another said that the distributed a video recording of the pair having sex. Both cases were also settled through an agreed payout.

In June 2002, officials charged Kelly with 21 counts of child pornography, in which he videotaped himself having various forms of sexual relations with a minor. All counts involved a single girl. He denied the charges and was eventually found not guilty, since there was no proof regarding the age of the victim. 

2019 Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse: Even before the sex trafficking charges were announced in July, Kelly was already facing 10 counts dating back to February. The case, pending in Chicago, involves another sex tape that includes an underage victim: a 14-year-old girl. 

Speak to a Florida Sexual Abuse Lawyer About Your Legal Options 

While criminal charges may help victims seek justice, potential jail time, fines, and other punishment don’t provide full closure for the losses they suffer from sexual assault. Fortunately, victims do have rights through civil actions, and they can recover monetary damages for these losses. To learn more about sexual abuse civil claims, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL.



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