R. Kelly failed to show up in Cook County Circuit Court today (April 24) to answer allegations he sexually abused an underage girl in the late 1990s.
The alleged victim, who is now 36, says in her suit, which was filed in February, that Kelly had repeated sexual contact with her that began in 1998, when she was only 16.
According to the Chicago Tribune, records show the singer was served a court summons last month while he was in Cook County Jail for failing to pay back child support. The court filings claim Kelly never filed an appearance in the lawsuit. Judge Moira Johnson granted the attorneys’ request Tuesday to enter a judgement against Kelly, which could still be reversed if Kelly appointed an attorney for the suit.
By default though, R. Kelly lost Wednesday’s legal battle for failing to appear in court and could be ordered to pay damages, which exceed $50,000, as soon as May, when the alleged victim is expected to testify. She has only been identified in criminal court documents as “H.W.”
Attorneys for the accuser said that since the lawsuit was filed on February 21, Kelly has ignored court summonses. “Robert Sylvester Kelly has failed and refused to file an appearance or answer to the Complaint even though [he is] required to do so,” the lawyers stated in their motion filed earlier this month.
In a brief phone call with the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday, Kelly’s publicist stated, “We don’t care about the lawsuit. The lawsuit means nothing to us.”
This accuser is just one of the alleged victims at the center of pending criminal charges against R. Kelly. He faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse including four separate alleged victims, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged assaults.
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