As previously reported by The Root, the long-awaited trial for R. Kelly is set to begin this month.
The disgraced R&B singer is currently facing myriad charges including racketeering, bribery, and sexual abuse. But before he is to stand trial for those charges, per Page Six, Kelly appeared in Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday where his lawyers petitioned the judge to receive daily court transcripts and allow for new clothing measurements for their client to properly dress for the upcoming trial. During that time, the judge also ruled that prosecutors would be allowed to present evidence that “Kelly had ‘sexual contact’ with singer Aaliyah when she was as young as 13—before the pair married in 1994 when she was 15.”
Speaking of evidence, in the last two weeks, prosecutors have requested that additional evidence be considered in Kelly’s case. Those include “claims that members of his entourage bribed a Cook County clerk for legal issue information in 2019, that entourage members paid for a fake ID for the late Aaliyah in 1994 and that Kelly allegedly sexually abused a 17-year-old boy in 2006.”
In addition to that, CNN also reports that the newfound evidence includes witness testimony that “alleges Kelly asked her to obtain child pornography involving boys for him. Further evidence includes recordings of physical abuse and threats that Kelly allegedly used to ‘maintain control over women and girls’ who he had sexual relationships with.”
Aside from the charges he faces in New York, the “Trapped in the Closet” singer is also facing both state and federal charges in Illinois and Minnesota. Since being arrested in July 2019, Kelly has continued to maintain his innocence and pleaded not guilty. In response to the new request for more evidence, Kelly’s lawyer Tom Farinella said in a statement:
“This is nothing more than a veiled effort to pile on to further shape the public’s perception in this case ignoring that Mr. Kelly is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The defense will vigorously oppose their requests. As the trial nears, we are looking forward to the truth prevailing.”