Law 201: R. Kelly + Aliyah Marriage = New Federal Felony Charge

♦️ Pub: Dec 9, 2019 | Updated: Dec 10, 2019 @ | Reading: 4 min. | Words: 854 ♦️
Call it “The Case of Acute (Prosecutors’) Embarrassment.” Word arrived last week: the feds filed a new felony charge against R. Kelly, based on his marriage to Aliyah … 25 years ago.

Headline News: R. Kelly Sees New Federal Felony Charge, per Aliyah Marriage

A particular news headline last week (linked below) dang near induced whiplash in this attorney.

Thanks to the now infamous Surviving R. Kelly documentary, assorted law enforcement personnel—state and federal—started burning the midnight oil. I dub it The Case of Acute (Prosecutors’) Embarrassment. A few sunrises later, Kelly found himself 1️⃣ in jail 2️⃣ with bond denied. Given Kelly’s mouthy “friends” spouting throughout the documentary, not to mention at least one purported in-the-act tape, Kelly did the same thing to himself he’s allegedly been doing to underage Black females for a generation.

Then the plot thickened. The feds filed that recent superseding indictment—fancy legal talk for more <sic>sheet<sic> boomeranged at Kelly—in a nice lil gift-wrapped legal package. When the December 5th headline hit my retinas, immediate questions about the statute of limitations engulfed me.

‘Scuse Me. Statute of Limitations?!

A statute of limitations sets a cut-off date for pursuing an action against a tentative defendant. Murder, I know, carries no get-outta-jail-free card. Read: no cut-off date. Take a life, and yours will be haunted with potential indictment everyday thereafter you continue to breathe. I presumed another forever-felony formed the crux of this latest charge. But the Kelly-Aliyah marriage, transpiring 25 years ago, and lasting just long enough for Aliyah’s folks to grab an attorney to (successfully) pursue an annulment?

Macaw looking perplexed (Pixabay)
25 years. New charge. Me confused.

Me confused … then.

See, dat’s da problem with an adult lifetime spent as a litigator: curiosity coerces action. Immediate result: a new entry in my bullet journal:

🔲 (R) S/L re new R. Kelly fed charge ← Aliyah “I do”

Translation: Research statute of limitations issue attending new federal felony R. Kelly charge, premised on his looooooong ago marriage to then-15-year old / minor Aliyah

When I pounced on that task this past weekend, as expected, Google pointed me in the definitive direction within a minute of my posed query.

Like Murder, Certain Federal Sexual Crimes Carry NO Limitations Period

The linked PDF below provides the details. For present (plain English) purposes, suffice to say certain federal sexual offenses growl at the very concept of a statute of limitations. Remember: every statute of limitations materializes courtesy of a legislative body—state or, here, federal. In this instance, Kelly fell into a black hole eschewing any hint of a limitations period, per the dictate of Congress. Read: a forever-at-risk felony.

If you watched the documentary, you likely recall the adult male (I refuse to refer to him as a man) who admitted doctoring certain papers, so Aliyah would appear to be of proper marrying age. Add bribing an official to the mix. All together now: Oops!

Kelly’s cascading series of egregious calculations includes assuming no one would give a D about the munchkin-y while Black girls he victimized. And for decades, the assumption proved true. Sadly, the Black community—enamored with hits serving as background music for weddings and more, like 🎵I believe I can fly 🎵, also turned a blind eye.

But one Black woman entered the scene, committed to righting the egregious wrongs. dream Hampton went to work, ultimately gifting those possessing a functioning conscience with the referenced documentary masterpiece. Incidentally, all six parts comprising the documentary are currently streaming on NetFlix. (dream insists her first name appear in lowercase, a preference inherently shouting volumes about her umbrella perspective.)

Ahhh, Karma

American Bald Eagle, profile (Pixabay)
Ever try to get rid of your own shadow? Yeah, same deal with Karma, but multiplied by a gazillion

Imma say it one moe ‘gain: Karma lives to kick a booty hither and yon. You might escape—for years—the fate you’ve earned, but when THAT persistent and consistent Lady comes a-knockin’ … trouble, PardNah, the likes of which you ain’t nevahhhhhh seen befo’e! <cough> Cosby, anyone? </cough>

You. Have. Been. Warned.


QNLink3   SourceBuzzFeed News
R. Kelly Has Been Charged With Bribing An Official For A Fake ID To Marry Aaliyah (R. Kelly Married Aaliyah When She Was 15. Now He’s Being Charged With A Federal Crime.)

QNLink3   SourceCongressional Research Service
Statute of Limitation in Federal Criminal Cases : An Overview

P.S.: I Believe I Can Lie

(Worth the view, if only to repeat-relish Gayle King’s now-iconic “Robert.”)




Law 201: R. Kelly + Aliyah Marriage = New Federal Felony Charge (Burrowing Owl, snapped at The National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA)
Karma and the Law, a deadly mix

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