R. Kelly’s trial is underway in New York, and on day one, his illegal marriage to Aaliyah was highlighted. The New York Times reports Kelly was on hand in court on Wednesday, facing sexual abuse and federal racketeering charges.

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In Brooklyn Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez’s opening statements, she addressed the marriage to Aaliyah. The singer was just 15, as R. Kelly was 27. R. Kelly allegedly got Aaliyah pregnant and was entering a marriage with her to prohibit testimony against him.

“If she was pregnant that meant there would be questions: At the very top of that list of questions — who is the father of that baby?” Cruz Melendez presented in court.


Cruz Melendez would provide details of obtaining a fake ID for Aaliyah, allowing her to be married at age 18.

Included in R. Kelly’s racketeering case are charges of kidnapping, sex trafficking, and more.