A Complete Timeline Of R. Kelly’s Legal Troubles

R&B singer R. Kelly has dodged reports of sexual misconduct for decades. He won a surprise acquittal in a case involving indecent behavior with a minor. Even though Kelly married then-15-year-old singer Aaliyah in 1994, his career continued to thrive in the face of the claims about his private life. 

However, numerous women appeared in Surviving R. Kelly, a 2019 Lifetime documentary, and reported harmful interactions with the singer. As such, it seems Kelly's alleged behavior is catching up to him. He avoided legal punishment for many years, but Kelly has settled out of court with multiple parties as fans have continued to turn their backs on him, ranking him among the worst artists of our time. In 2019, Kelly's troubles picked up steam after the singer failed to pay back child support and a new tape surfaced that reportedly showed the singer engaged in inappropriate behavior with a minor. 

This is the timeline of events that lead to Kelly's current social and legal standing. 


  • August 6, 2019: Kelly Is Charged With Soliciting A Minor In Minnesota

    On August 6, 2019, Kelly was charged in Minnesota for allegedly paying a minor to undress in his hotel room. According to county attorney Mike Freeman, the incident occurred in 2001 when a fan asked Kelly for an autograph. Kelly apparently gave her his phone number, and the Star Tribune reported that "after some discussion she was offered $200 to take off her clothes and dance for him." The 17-year-old fan agreed and the two proceeded to engage in inappropriate touching, According to the charges. 

    Freeman said the statute of limitations does not apply because Kelly did not live in Minnesota for any period of time. The woman who went to law enforcement with the information has declined any media interviews to protect her privacy.

    Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said his client will appear in court after his current cases. He considers the allegations from Minnesota to be a publicity stunt.  

  • July 12, 2019: Kelly Faces More Charges Alleging Sexual Misconduct With Minors
    Video: YouTube

    July 12, 2019: Kelly Faces More Charges Alleging Sexual Misconduct With Minors

    On July 12, 2019, R. Kelly was arrested (while walking his dog) on charges alleging he engaged in sexual misconduct with minors, paid victims to lie to investigators, and exposed one woman to an STD without her knowledge. The five-court indictment in New York spans Illinois, Connecticut, California, and New York, and includes five women who have not been identified, according to CNN.

    Along with the five-court indictment, a 13-count indictment from Illinois alleges Kelly made illicit videos with as many as four minors and paid the victims to give false testimony. 

    Kelly's lawyer said the charges are the "same as the conduct previously alleged against R. Kelly in his current state indictment and his former state charges," and will be vacated. 

    The singer is out on bond from the state charges in Illinois.

  • May 30, 2019: Prosecutors Charged Kelly With 11 New Felony Counts

    On May 30, Cook County prosecutors filed a new case against the R&B singer. The case has 11 felony charges, and they are more serious than the four cases he was hit with in February 2019. 

    The alleged offense in question happened in January 2010, and although details are sparse, the new case may not be for a new victim. The case charges Kelly with "four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a victim between the ages of 13 and 16.”

    The aggravated criminal sexual assault counts are considered Class X felonies, which can carry a 30-year sentence. 

  • May 8, 2019: The Default Judgement From The April 24 Hearing Is Vacated When Lawyers Claim Kelly Can't Read

    Judge Moira Johnson vacated her default verdict in the April 24, 2019 case between Kelly and one of his alleged underage victims on account of Kelly's lawyers claiming he is illiterate. Kelly's new attorney's Raed Shalabi and Zaid Abdallah told the Chicago Sun-Times:

    The defendant does not recall being served. The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence he cannot.

    They further claim that Kelly's criminal defense attorney who is unrelated to the civil case, Steve Greenberg, "informed the Defendant of the default judgment" after the media reported it.

    The vacated hearing has been rescheduled for June 19.