'WHY?': R Kelly Grand Jury asks prosecutors the one question everyone has about the late Aaliyah
Warning: This content contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion is advised.
ILLINOIS, CHICAGO: During recent arguments in the R Kelly's case, former business manager, Derrell McDavid, claimed that the prosecutors should be on the hook for his $850,000 legal fees after he was acquitted in the case. Meanwhile, during the trial, one of the jurors asked the prosecutors why Kelly wasn't charged with marrying Aaliyah when she was only a minor
In the trial, the juror asked, "When you first brought us evidence, you showed us the marriage license with him and Aaliyah… so I was wondering why she wouldn't be part of it if he married her when she was a minor and abused her?" reported DailyMail.
To which Assistant US Attorney Angel Krull explained that because the law against enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity did not exist until 1996. This is why the police could not charge Kelly on these grounds. According to Chicago Tribune, Kelly married Aaliyah in 1994. The marriage was annulled and Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash in 2001. Meanwhile, there are still doubts about why Chicago grand jurors were shown evidence related to Aaliyah if prosecutors did not charge Kelly with any conduct related to her. However, it still remains a question why US District Judge Harry Leinenweber barred the mention of the duo's relationship and encouraged defense attorneys to depict her uncle, Barry Hankerson, as a control freak.
However, Kelly faced charges related to the illegal marriage during a trial at Brooklyn’s federal court in 2021 and was also found guilty of a wide-ranging racketeering scheme. Hence, the judge, in that case, sentenced him in June to 30 years in prison. Kelly's former tour manager, Demetrius Smith, previously testified that he bribed a government worker with $500 to obtain Aaliyah's fake ID for her to get married to the singer. Demetrius also claimed that he had gotten Aaliyah pregnant. However, prosecutors stated that Kelly wanted to use the marriage to protect himself from criminal charges related to having sex with a minor and to prevent her from testifying against him.
The singer was found guilty on a nine-count indictment, including eight counts of violating the Mann Act. The Mann Act is a federal law that prohibits trafficking people across states either for prostitution or illegal sexual activity. However,Kelly was charged last month with three counts of child pornography. However, he was acquitted of a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge accusing him and his team of fixing his state child pornography trial in 2008. The major charges against him include one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act.