R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to Bribery Charges Involving His Marriage to Aaliyah
R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges related to his 1994 marriage to Aaliyah.
On Wednesday, Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, entered the not guilty plea in Brooklyn federal court on behalf of his client, who was on a remote video feed from a federal detention facility in Chicago.
Prosecutors say that Kelly and others bribed an Illinois government employee in order to pay for a “fraudulent identification document” for an unidentified woman on Aug. 30, 1994. A day later, Kelly married Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, in a secret ceremony in Chicago.
The fake ID was used to obtain a marriage license that listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. The marriage was annulled months later because of her age.
The allegation has been added to the existing racketeering charge filed against Kelly in New York that accuses him of sexually exploiting underage girls. Kelly’s New Jersey defense attorney, Doug Anton, has called the new charges “ridiculous and absurd,” reports USA Today.
Kelly has already pleaded not guilty to over a dozen sex-crime charges filed against him since February. The 52-year-old singer, who remains in federal custody, is scheduled to go on trial in his federal case in Chicago in April, and the following month in New York, with the state case in Chicago scheduled for Sept. 14.