Jury selection set to begin for R Kelly sexual abuse trial in New York

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Jury selection is due to take place today for the sexual abuse trial of disgraced R&B singer R Kelly.

The 54-year-old is expected to go on trial in Brooklyn federal court, New York, on racketeering, sexual abuse, and bribery charges – all of which he denies.

Prosecutors allege the I Believe I Can Fly singer ran a criminal scheme in which women and underage girls were recruited to engage in sexual activity with him.

They also claim Kelly, who is being held at a Brooklyn federal prison, bribed an Illinois official in 1994 to obtain fake identification for the then 15-year-old singer Aaliyah so they could get married.

Aaliyah was known for songs such as I'm So into You and Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, the latter on which Kelly served as an executive producer. She died in a 2001 plane crash at the age of 22.

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Once jury selection for the New York trial is complete, testimony is due to begin on 18 August.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is also facing separate sex-related criminal charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

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