Jailed R&B star R. Kelly has been hit by accusations he married 15-year-old Aaliyah to prevent her from testifying against him in court.
According to new documents obtained by The Blast, prosecutors hoping to put the singer behind bars for life on multiple sex assault and misconduct charges have revealed fresh details about Kelly’s illegal marriage to the late singer, who died in 2001.
They have already accused him of bribing a state official to obtain a fake ID for Aaliyah – a charge to which Kelly has pleaded not guilty.
According to a marriage certificate, the then-27 year old wed the teenager in Rosemont, Illinois on 31 August, 1994. The union was later annulled by her parents.
In the prosecution’s latest documents, one lawyer argues Kelly wed his teenage girlfriend after realising his relationship with her could prove troublesome if she testified in court about the nature of their romance.
“As early as 1994, the defendant took steps to prevent law enforcement from discovering and investigating his crimes,” the complaint reads.
“As alleged in the EDNY (Eastern District of New York) indictment, in August 1994, the defendant and others bribed a government employee to create false identification for Jane Doe #1. Witnesses have advised the government that the defendant engaged in this bribery scheme to obtain a marriage license so he could quickly and secretly marry Jane Doe #1 to avoid criminal charges for engaging in a sexual relationship with Jane Doe #1, who was a minor at the time.
“Specifically, the defendant believed that his marriage to Jane Doe #1 would prevent her from being able to testify against him in the event he were prosecuted for his criminal sexual relationship with her.”