The Chicago Tribune reports that R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to bribery at his arraignment in Chicago federal court today after being accused of bribing a government official for a fake ID for Aaliyah in 1994. Aaliyah was 15 at the time, but R. Kelly allegedly made a payment to the official for an ID listing her age as 18 so the two could get married.
Kelly faces an ever-growing list of charges after being arrested on charges of racketeering conspiracy, enticing minors to engage in criminal sexual activity, possession of child pornography, and more. Kelly stands charged in Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis after the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly shed light on his alleged history of sexual crimes with minors, prompting law enforcement agencies to re-open existing investigations and start new ones. Kelly was subsequently dropped from his label and eventually, enough evidence was gathered to open cases against him in multiple jurisdictions.
Kelly has pled not guilty to all the charges against him, but was denied bond once the charges escalated to federal level. He is also accused of threatening his alleged victims. A sequel to Surviving R. Kelly aims to detail the fallout of the original documentary and will air in 2020.