In a recently unsealed court filing, R. Kelly’s ex-wife claims the singer was accused of molesting a preteen girl in 2009, the year after he was found not guilty of child porn charges by a Cook County jury. The alleged victim is younger than any of Kelly’s other known accusers, and the alleged abuse took place more recently than the majority of the criminal incidents charged against the singer in state and federal courts.
Andrea Kelly outlined the allegation, which has not been previously reported, in a 2014 legal filing seeking sole custody of the couple’s three children.
In the motion, unsealed only after a legal effort by WBEZ, Andrea Kelly claims the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigated the accusation that in 2009 Kelly touched the girl, referred to as Jane Doe, “in a sexually inappropriate manner and made advances toward her that were sexual in nature.” However, according to the motion, the child welfare agency deemed the allegations “unfounded.”
“The DCFS caseworker/investigator … specifically and personally advised Jane Doe’s mother that despite the fact that [the caseworker] believed that the events occurred, she had no choice but to deem the matter unfounded based on the length of time between the events occurring and Jane Doe reporting the incident,” the motion reads.
The allegations and investigation by DCFS came after Kelly’s high-profile trial on child pornography charges.
A spokesman for DCFS declined to comment.
R. Kelly is being held in federal jail awaiting trial. He is facing charges of child pornography, sexual exploitation of children, sexual assault, obstruction of justice and racketeering in four jurisdictions, including separate federal cases in New York and Chicago. He has pleaded not guilty.
None of the cases pending against Kelly involve the allegations outlined in the divorce court filing.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said the allegation is “100% false.”
“People say things during a divorce case to try and gain an advantage, and that’s what happened here,” Greenberg said in a text message. “It was fully investigated by the police and DCFS and rejected.”
Kelly has had his pending criminal trials repeatedly pushed back, because the coronavirus has slowed down the court system and restricted travel.
Kelly’s attorneys have continuously pushed for the singer to be released from jail, arguing he is unable to adequately prepare for trial while locked up and that the federal jail is not able to keep him safe.
They claimed in a court filing last month that Kelly was injured in an attack by a fellow inmate.
Patrick Smith is part of WBEZ’s criminal justice desk. Follow him @pksmid.