Embattled singer-songwriter R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges related to the singer’s 1994 marriage to Aaliyah, as Rap-Up reports.
On Wednesday (Dec. 17), Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, entered a not guilty plea in Brooklyn federal court on behalf of Kelly.
R. Kelly was available remotely via video feed from a federal detention facility in Chicago, Illinois.
According to prosecutors, Kelly alongside others bribed an Illinois government employee in order to purchase a “fraudulent identification document” for an unidentified woman on Aug. 30, 1994.
The next day, Kelly married singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, in a secret ceremony in the Windy City.
The faux ID was utilized to also obtain a marriage license that listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. Months following the marriage, it was annulled due to the singer’s age.
This allegation comes in addition to Kelly’s existing racketeering charge filed against Kelly in New York. Kelly is accused of sexually exploiting underage girls.
Doug Anton, Kelly’s New Jersey defense lawyer has claimed that the new charges are “ridiculous and absurd,” as USA Today reports.
Kelly, 52, has already pleaded not guilty to over a dozen sex-crime charges that were filed against the singer since February. R. Kelly remains in federal custody and is slated to go on trial regarding his federal case in his hometown of Chicago in April.
In May, Kelly is scheduled to appear in court in New York, and the singer is slated to appear for his state Chicago case on Sept. 14, 2020.