New court documents obtained by Chicago Sun-Times accuse R. Kelly of marrying Aaliyah at 15 in order to prevent her from testifying against him. Spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other in court, so prosecutors allege that Kelly married Aaliyah to protect himself against sexual misconduct charges.
The late singer is referred to as “Jane Doe #1” in the documents.
“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,” prosecutors wrote. “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.”
Kelly was previously charged with bribing a government official in order to obtain a fake I.D. for Aaliyah, so that he could marry her in 1994 while she was still a minor.
The prosecution also argues that Kelly has a “consistent pattern” of obstructing the investigation against him and therefore should not be allowed to learn the identities of the alleged victims in his ongoing Brooklyn case.
“Simply put, the defendant’s past behavior reveals that if given the opportunity to influence a potential witness, the defendant will take it, and his incarceration may not be enough to prevent such conduct,” prosecutors wrote.
Furthermore, The Chicago Tribune reports that Kelly previously used a prison staff member’s phone to make an unrecorded phone call and had an unnamed attorney smuggle a letter into prison for him.
“The defendant has, at his disposal, individuals willing to assist him in bypassing the traditional methods used to monitor the defendant’s communications,” the document continued. “The defendant’s attempt to paint himself as being completely isolated from the outside world ... is simply not credible.”