A woman accusing R. Kelly of sexually abusing her as a minor teen testified at his Brooklyn federal-court trial Monday that she witnessed him perform oral sex on Aaliyah when the singer was barely a teenager. This latest accuser said Kelly’s illicit encounter with Aaliyah occurred in 1992 or 1993 — meaning the up-and-coming singer was just 13 or 14 during this alleged sexual abuse. It appears to be the earliest known time of Kelly’s alleged abuse of Aaliyah, whom he later illegally married when she was 15 and he was 27, as others have testified at trial.
Angela, now the tenth accuser to testify, said she met Kelly in 1991, when she was around 14 or 15. The teen’s friend, Tiffany, brought her to a party at Kelly’s Chicago apartment. Kelly and several of his friends were there, as well as some other young females, and they were all joking around in the common area. At one point, Kelly went into another room. In time, the young ladies would join him.
“All of us, one by one, all of the young ladies … I don’t recall if it was Tiffany or Robert who invited me into the room, but I was asked to come into the room,” she said. When Angela walked in, there were “three other young ladies.” One was disrobing and another was taking off her shirt.
“He asked me to climb on top of him,” Angela said. “I paused for a moment. I was a little startled.” But she decided to do “as he asked me to do.”
“The defendant asked me to straddle him and to ride him. I asked if I could grab a condom,” she recalled, noting that she was “between 14 and 15, I would assume closer to 15, because it was between freshman and sophomore [year].” Kelly said he didn’t have a condom, but Angela told him that she did.
“After that, I proceeded to put the condom on the gentleman and straddled him.” They had intercourse. At some point, Kelly allegedly fondled one of the other female’s breasts, put his mouth on another’s, and touched the third female’s genitals. Before Angela left the apartment that evening, Kelly invited her and Tiffany back the next day. Angela said she went on to hang out with Kelly “every day for quite a few years.” They had sexual encounters on multiple occasions when she was a minor, she said.
Angela, then an aspiring singer, said she dropped out of high school after Kelly told her that she could either sing or study but not both. She worked as a backup dancer on one of Kelly’s tours around 1992 or 1993. At the time, Angela and two friends were in a singing group called Second Chapter.
During her testimony, prosecution showed Angela a photo of Aaliyah, projected on a screen. They asked: Did she know who this person was? Had she met her?
“That is Aaliyah Dana Haughton,” Angela said. “Yes, I have.”
Angela said that she met Aaliyah in 1992. Kelly had told her that Aaliyah “was the next up-and-coming artist, the next hottest wave out of Detroit.” Kelly introduced them on Aaliyah’s 13th birthday. The singer was born on January 16, 1979.
“He told her that we were going to be her background [singers] as well,” Angela recalled. “He told her that we were going to be her street vibe and that we were going to be there to be her friends as well.”
Aaliyah wound up coming along on the tour but did not perform. “She was seeing what traveling road life was like,” Angela recalled. “She was his protégée … getting her feet wet.”
Angela said that Kelly had explosive reactions when the girls didn’t follow his instructions. When he encountered them returning to the hotel after they went to get food without permission, Kelly allegedly told them that “we would all have to put out that night … it was dues time.”
Angela claimed to have witnessed Kelly sexually abuse Aaliyah on the tour bus. She testified that, at the time of the alleged incident, she and another young female were goofing around. Kelly liked to play practical jokes, she said, and they decided to get him back by throwing water on him. Angela and the other female went toward the back of Kelly’s tour bus, to his bedroom. Angela opened the door a crack.
“I saw Robert and Aaliyah in a sexual situation,” she said. “It appeared that he had his head in between her legs and was giving her oral sex.” Aaliyah was sitting up, on a seat, and Kelly was on his knees.
“I closed the door abruptly and pushed the girl behind me away from the door.” She said that she did not talk to Kelly about what she had seen. Angela said she stopped working for Kelly in the mid-1990s.
Kelly is charged in New York with racketeering and sex crimes. The Feds contend that Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of girls, boys, young women, and young men is part of an ongoing, organized criminal enterprise.
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