Lifetime’s new documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” has again put the singer on the defensive regarding long-standing allegations that he had sex with underage girls. The allegations against R. Kelly date back over 20 years to 1994, when news outlets reported that Kelly had married his 15-year-old protege. Although the marriage was quickly annulled, the questions surrounding Kelly and his behavior toward underage girls continued to dog him throughout his career and shock music fans in Minnesota.
In 2000, a newspaper reported that Kelly had been investigated for having sex with minors. However, the investigation ended when the girls involved refused to cooperate with the child sexual abuse investigation. Soon thereafter, Kelly enjoyed some of the biggest successes of his career, releasing his wildly successful album “TP-2.com” and performing his hit song “I Believe I Can Fly” during the opening ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
However, the same day R. Kelly performed at the Olympics, Chicago police revealed some of the most damning allegations against the singer. Authorities detailed their latest investigation into a videotape that seemingly depicted Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Kelly was charged with 21 counts of child pornography, but he was ultimately acquitted. The prosecution had been hampered by long delays in trying the case and the refusal of the victim and her family to testify against the singer.
R. Kelly’s acquittal serves to illustrate the difficulty in prosecuting sex crimes. Even if the evidence against the perpetrator seems irrefutable, many legal factors could lead to the acquittal of the defendant. This is why anyone charged with a sex crime may want to secure an aggressive defense attorney no matter how strong the evidence against them may appear to be.