R. Kelly sexual abuse allegations timeline

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on 29 June 2022 for sexual abuse cases but the allegations against him span decades. Here, we trace R. Kelly sexual abuse allegations timeline as they have been mentioned one time or the other.

R. Kelly sexual abuse allegations timeline
R. Kelly sexual abuse allegations timeline

1994: Aaliyah

On 31 August 1994, R. Kelly illegally married late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 in Cook County, Illinois. Although, it only came out in 2021 during a witness testimony, the singer was said to have been having sexual relations with her since she was around 13 or 14 years old. She later had the marriage annulled in 1997 after she confessed that she lied about her age, claiming to be 18 when she had been 15.

1996: Tiffany Hawkins

Long before social media began to torchlight celebrity lives, R. Kelly had faced a civil suit filed by Tiffany Hawkins, who claimed that the singer had engaged her in intercourse starting from when she was 15. He had settled the case in 1998 for $250,000 but in 2000, a Chicago Sun-Times article mentioned that the police had to drop two cases against Kelly because the victims were not willing to confront him.

2002: leaked video and underage material

In 2002, a viral video showed a man (said to be R. Kelly) engaged in dehumanizing sexual fetishes with an underage girl. In the video, the man was urinating on the girl but Kelly said that he was not the man in the video.

Still in the same year, he was arrested for possessing adult materials of underage girls and he posted bail of $750,000 before he was released the next day. He would later be found not guilty in 2008.

In 2003, he was arrested again  for possessing underage girls materials but he was released that same day and in 2004, the charges were dropped.

2009: Andrea Lee divorce

During his divorce from Lee, she accused Kelly of abusing a preteen girl. However, the details of the divorce were sealed at the time and was only unsealed in 2020.

2010s: sex cult

In 2015, during a live interview for Huffington Post, which was aimed at promoting his thirteenth album titled The Buffet, R. Kelly found himself on the end of a question that resurrected his past sexual abuse cases.

His reaction was suspect because he grew angry at Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, and instead of seizing the moment to convince the public of his innocence, he started shouting at the journalist and threatened to walk out of the interview.

In 2017, three sets of parents accused the singer of holding their daughters hostage in some sort of sex cult. However, the case could not go forward because the girls themselves denied any wrongdoing.

Yet, the following year, a former partner of the singer came out to accuse him of intentionally infecting her with an STD to have some control over her. And in 2019, Asante McGee, who also briefly lived with the singer said that while they lived together, they were not alone. She and Kelly lived with other women, McGee claimed, and he controlled every aspect of her life.

2019: Cook County arrest

In February 2019, Kelly turned himself in to the police after the Cook County State Attorney Office charged him with 10 counts of sexual abuse crimes. The allegations mention charges from 1998 to 2010 and included four females (three teen minors) and a video evidence.

He was released after three nights and ordered not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18 and the alleged victims. The bail was set at $1 million.

2019: Surviving R. Kelly documentary and CBS This Morning interview

Lifetime aired a documentary series in 2019 interviewing witnesses and highlighting many of the allegations that have been levelled against the singer. They released the second part of the documentary in 2020.

R. Kelly’s team launched a Facebook page in 2019, which the social media platform would later take down, to discredit the people who appeared in the documentary. Then, in an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning on 6 March 2019, he once again denied the accusations against him. Two women were also part of the interview and they defended the singer against the deluge of accusations that were ramping up.

2019: Indictment

In June 2019, a grand jury indicted R. Kelly, and he was arrested in July again and federal prosecutors indicted him on 18 charges. Although he pleaded not guilty every time, he was denied bail in August after the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York advised that the singer was a flight risk and could use his influence to obstruct justice.

Kelly requested a pretrial in October 2019 but it was denied and when his lawyers tried again in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court denied the request.

Before then, the State’s Attorney Office in Hennepin County, Minnesota charged Kelly with soliciting a minor and prostitution. The case said that he had taken an underage girl to his hotel room in July 2001 and asked her to take off her clothes and dance for him. He had allegedly paid her $200.

2021: pretrial and jury trial

While Federal prosecutors asked the court to consider evidences of obstruction of justice in Kelly’s trial, his lawyers asked that the court dismiss charges related to his transmission of STDs to his victims.

The federal jury trial began in earnest on 18 August 2021. Witnesses like Jerhonda Pace, two men named Louis and Alex, and the singer’s former employees testified at the trial. There were videos depicting extreme acts of human degradation (including consuming feces) and abuse that the court did not allow to go public.

2021: guilty verdict

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison| sexual abuse allegations timeline
R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison| sexual abuse allegations timeline.

On 27 September 2021, the jury found R. Kelly guilty of nine counts including racketeering, transportation across state lines for illegal sexual activity, coercion and enticement, and transportation of a minor.

After the guilty verdict, he was remanded in custody until his sentencing on 29 June 2022. He was eventually sentenced to 30 years behind bars.

Jim DeRogatis, a longtime R. Kelly critic and general music critic, said that the case involved twenty women and two men but ‘there are likely many more.’

R. Kelly still has pending cases at a federal court trial at Chicago in August 2022 on child p*rn and obstruction charges, according to his lawyer Jennifer Ann Bonjean.

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About The Author


Obinna is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up loving comic book characters and superheroes. He watches lots of action films and writes entertainment and technology articles. He is also interested in science and how things work.

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