R. Kelly Sex Trafficking Trial To Begin Next Week
R. Kelly is due to stand trial next week for a long list of offences including sex trafficking and coercion.
The 54-year-old singer is accused of grooming young women and girls, as well as hiring others to facilitate his physical and sexual abuse.
USA Today reports that Kelly attended a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday (August 3) to determine which evidence could be shown to the jury.
Some of the evidence discussed involved Kelly’s marriage to the then-15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah, in 1994. Kelly is accused of using bribery to obtain a fake ID to facilitate the lie that Aaliyah was 18.
The ‘Try Again‘ singer tragically died during a plane crash in 2001.
According to documents obtained by USA Today, evidence that Kelly knowingly had “sexual contact” with an underage girl is to be permitted next week. The evidence suggests that Kelly had married Aaliyah in secret when he believed she had become pregnant, as a wife cannot be forced to testify against a husband.
Billboard states that Judge Ann M. Donnelly gave permission for witnesses, including women who claim they were abused, to testify using only their first name. She added that she would not allow questions regarding treatment for the women’s mental health.
Other matters were also brought to the attention of the court during the hearing. Page Six alleges that Kelly’s lawyer, Deveraux Cannick, requested that court transcripts be provided to Kelly as his “finances are depleted”. Cannick also asked if Kelly could be measured for new clothes as he had gained weight in prison.
“It’s going to be a long trial.” Commented the judge after a reading of the intended evidence.
The public and media will not be permitted in the courtroom next week.
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