American singer R. Kelly is facing new bribery charges that appear to be related to his 1994 marriage to R&B singer Aaliyah D. Haughton, who was then 15 years old.
A revised indictment unsealed Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn accuses him of scheming with others to pay for a “fraudulent identification document” for someone identified only as “Jane Doe” on Aug. 30, 1994. The bribe was said to have been paid to an Illinois official.
A day later, R. Kelly married Aaliyah in a secret ceremony in Cook County Illinois..
The marriage was annulled months later because of Aaliyah’s age. She died in a plane crash in 2001.
Defense attorney Douglas Anton called the latest charge against his client “ridiculous and absurd.”
The new charge was added to an existing, sweeping, federal racketeering indictment against Kelly, which accuses him of coercing several women, including at least two underage girls, into illegal sexual activity. It also accuses him of kidnapping one victim.
Kelly additionally faces state charges in Illinois for allegedly sexually abusing four individuals, three of whom were under the age of 17 at the time of the alleged crimes.
Earlier this week, a Cook County judge ordered Kelly to stand trial on one of four sexual abuse cases on Sept. 14 and told local prosecutors that he wants to know next month which of the four sexual abuse cases they intend to take to trial first.
*AP and Washington Post