SINGER GOES FREE IN CHILD SEX CASE
R&B star R. Kelly was jailed overnight in June 2002 on child pornography charges and wasreleased after posting $750,000 bail bond. A Florida judge ordered him to have no contact withminors unrelated to him. The charges stem from a videotape showing a sexual tryst between Kelly anda 13 year old girl. Kelly is already dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct. He was chargedwith 21 counts of child pornography and arrested near a house he rents in Davenport, Florida. Thefelony charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Kelly has beensued by the following women:
Tiffany Hawkins In January 1996 the Chicago choir girl filed a suit allegingKelly began having sex with her when she was 15. She claimed Kelly forced her into group sex. Kellysettled the suite for $250,000 but denied any wrongdoing.
Tracy Sampson In August 2001 the intern for Epic Records in Chicago sued Kelly,claiming he seduced her when she was 17 and forced her to get oral sex from another woman. Kellysettled the $50,000 suit for an undisclosed sum, again denying wrongdoing.
Patrice Jones On April 29, 2002, the now 20 year old woman filed a $50,000 suitagainst Kelly, claiming he had sex with her when she was 16 and then pressured her into having anabortion after she got pregnant. The case is still pending.
Montina Woods On May 24, the 33 year old dancer filed a suit, accusing Kelly ofsecretly taping a sex session at his studio in Chicago. The suit is pending.
Prosecutors gave his defense team a copy of the tape at a hearing in Chicago criminal courtso he could now see for himself if he's the man performing sex acts with the 14 year old on video.
Kelly has a long and sordid history of preying on underage girls, according to a story in GQmagazine. Among the more disturbing allegations made by writer Jim DeRogatis:
The 14 year old girl who had kinky sex with him four years ago in the widelybootlegged amateur porn tape is his goddaughter Reshona Landfair, the daughter of Kelly'sguitarist.
When he was romancing 15 year old Aaliyah in 1994, he took her to a suburban Chicagohotel room for a quickie marriage ceremony. He used a phony marriage certificate that listed herage as 18 and the two were legally married. The marriage was later an'NULLed, and Aaliyah was swornto secrecy and waived all civil claims against him.
Childhood friends of Kelly tell GQ that he was sexually molested by atrusted older man from the neighborhood, which may have contributed to his abusive behavior as anadult.
The Landfair family refused to cooperate with police, and then took a 2 month Europeanvacation early this year, which led to speculation they had been paid off. Landfair's auntStephanie Edwards told GQ: There have been too many girls to count. His whole M.O. stated this to me not long ago is he likes them when they are ripe and young because hecan mold them into what he wants them to be and control their minds and make them do what women'should' do. He needs to get some help. He needs to be stopped.
It is reported by GQ that Kelly settled lawsuits from two other teenage girls, and that twoother cases are pending. He faces 21 counts of child pornography, which he has pleaded innocent to,but authorities have been unable to indict him on the more serious charge of statutory rape withoutthe cooperation of his victims.
Kelly appeared in court as prosecutors pressed ahead with the child pornography chargesagainst him. Lawyers in the case said more evidence needed to be exchanged by the two sides beforetrial and another hearing which was scheduled for November 1.
Judge Vincent Gaughan ruled, that Kelly can leave the state to appear at a concert in NewYork. Kelly's request to leave Illinois from November 12 19 was granted over objections fromprosecutors.
Kelly's woes got worse January 22, 2003, when cops in Florida busted him on charges ofpossessing photos that apparently depict an illegal sex romp between him and an underage girl.Authorities in Polk County found the dozen digital images June 2003, in a house where Kelly wasstaying when he was arrested on the Illinois child pornography warrant. He was arrested in Miami,where he was shooting a music video. He was jailed for three hours before his release on $12,000bond.
Attorneys defending Kelly have filed a host of motions, including one contending the allegedvictim could have been old enough to legally consent to sex. Also included in the 11 motions filedin Cook County Circuit Court is the argument that the case should be dismissed because prosecutorsfailed to specify the date of the alleged crime in their indictment against Kelly. By alleging thatthe illegal acts happened between November 1997 and February 2002, Kelly's attorneys argue, thegirl could be anywhere from 13 to 17 years old. If she was 17 at the time, she would have been oldenough to consent to sex.
A judge ruled that detectives illegally seized photographs showing Kelly having sex with anunderage girl, and prosecutors cannot use them to try him on child pornography charges. Thejudge agreed with Kelly's lawyers that Polk County, Florida, sheriff's detectives did not haveenough evidence to justify a search of Kelly's Davenport, Florida, home when they asked a judge fora warrant in June 2002. The photographs were on a digital camera that was wrapped in a towelinside a duffel bag. Prosecutors said they would wait for the judge's written order to decidewhether to appeal. If there is no appeal, prosecutors would drop the 12 counts of childpornography against the singer. Last month, seven of the original 21 child pornographycharges against Kelly in Chicago were dismissed.
Florida prosecutors have dropped all child pornography charges against Kelly after a judgeruled that the photos allegedly showing him having sex with the underage girl were illegallyseized. The decision doesn't mean that he is out of trouble. He still faces 14 countsof child pornography in his home state of Illinois, stemming from an allegedly incriminatingvideotape.
As of July 22, 2005, Kelly is trying to beat the child porn rap by forcing authorities tonail down just when the sex tape was made that features him and the alleged 14 year old girl. Prosecutors in Chicago now say the tape was made sometime between January 1998 and October 2000,but Kelly's lawyers say authorities should narrow the range down to two days. Judge VincentGaughan appeared ready to throw out the case, which has already dragged on for three years, ifprosecutors couldn't narrow the time frame.
On July 27, a bruised and battered Kelly asked the judge for more time to defend himselfagainst the charges. He came to court sporting a bandage just above his left eyebrow, aresult of a rough basketball game with friends. His lawyer said the defense needs more timeto find witnesses who can testify about the age of the teenager seen having sex with Kelly. The judge agreed to give them until September 2.
Kelly was acquitted of all charges on June 13, 2008 after less than a day of deliberationsin his child pornography trial.