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R. Kelly pleads not guilty to bribery charge


Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty ImagesR. Kelly pleaded not guilty today to a bribery charge for allegedly paying off a public employee to obtain a fake ID for the late singer Aaliyah in order to marry her in 1994.

The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer appeared in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Wednesday afternoon via video conference from a Chicago courtroom. Kelly has been incarcerated in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correction Center since he was arrested July 11 after being indicted on numerous alleged sexual assault crimes. 

Kelly married Aaliyah, who was 15 years old at the time, in a secret ceremony at a Chicago hotel in 1994. Their marriage was annulled shortly after because she was underage. Their marriage license, which was obtained in Illinois, stated she was 18.

Kelly is already scheduled to go on trial on federal charges in Chicago, and a second case in New York.

Kelly was charged with a 13-count federal indictment in Chicago for allegedly conspiring with two former employees to pay off witnesses and victims in his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County.  He’s scheduled to go trial on September 14, 2020 on sex abuse charges in Cook County.

In addition to the bribery charge in New York City, Kelly is also charged in New York with racketeering conspiracy for allegedly sexually abusing underage girls whom he selected when they attended his concerts.

The 52-year-old singer also faces charges of prostitution and soliciting a minor in Minnesota.

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