16-Year-Old Accused of Victimizing R. Kelly As He Tries to Avoid Life in Prison; Denies Using Aaliyah

by Shine My Crown Staff
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Aaliyah was just 15 years old when she allegedly married R. Kelly, according to prosecutors.

During the disgraced singer’s trial, a witness even testified that she walked in on Kelly performing a sex act on the teen when she was just 13 or 14 years old. Still, Kelly continues to profess his innocence and blames alleged victim Jerhonda Pace, who was just 16 at the time, for setting him up.

Kelly is facing life in prison after being convicted of sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, bribery and sex trafficking involving five victims last September.

According to documents obtained by R. Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, Kelly is seeking a sentence of 14 years and 17.5 years in prison. He denies the allegations against him pertaining to Aaliyah…and implied that he was an innocent caught up in Pace’s web of deception.

Prosecutors believe Kelly paid a local official $500 for a fake ID for the 15-year-old before flying her out to a Chicago hotel suite in the middle of the night — where he married her.

“The government’s evidence failed to show that Defendant knew that Demetrius Smith paid money to influence a public aid officer to produce an identification card for Aaliyah. The record is also devoid of any evidence that Defendant used Aaliyah in connection with the bribery. Of course, the bribery committed by Smith produced a fraudulent public aid card for Aaliyah. But it does not follow that Defendant used Aaliyah in the bribery,” Bonjean said.

Pace confessed to lying about her age when she first met Kelly. However, after she confessed her real age to him, he did not put an end to the relationship. Instead, he allegedly told her to pretend she was 19.

Kelly denies the allegations.

“Jerhonda admits that she falsely told R. Kelly that she was 19 years of age when they engaged in sexual conduct. It is true that Jerhonda claims that she promptly confessed her real age of 16 to R. Kelly immediately after their first sexual encounter; however, even if this is true, Jerhonda’s testimony does not reveal that R. Kelly used any influence, undue or otherwise, to engage in sexual activity with her,” Bonjean argued.

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