Singer R. Kelly will face a May 18 trial on charges that he recruited underage girls and women to have sex with him, isolating them and controlling what they ate and when they went to the bathroom, a U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly set the date for next year’s trial, which had been agreed on by prosecutors and Kelly’s lawyers, at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn.
The 52-year-old R&B singer, known for such hits as “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Bump N’ Grind,” was arrested in Chicago in July on separate sets of charges brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn and Chicago. He has pleaded not guilty.
The singer had denied abuse allegations for decades before the latest charges. In 2008, he was tried on child pornography charges and found not guilty.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say Kelly and his entourage invited women and girls backstage after concerts, kept them from friends and family and made them dependent on him financially.
The Chicago prosecutors said Kelly had sexual contact with five minors and recorded sexually explicit videos of some of them. They also accused Kelly of obstructing justice by using threats and bribes, including payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars, to keep his victims quiet.
A trial in Chicago has been scheduled for April 27.
The federal charges were brought after seven women, including his ex-wife, appeared on a Lifetime network television documentary which aired in January and accused him of emotional and sexual abuse.
Kelly has been in jail since his July arrest, despite his lawyers’ repeated efforts to have him released on bail. Judges in both Brooklyn and Chicago would need to sign off on his release, and Judge Donnelly on Wednesday refused to do so, saying there was a substantial risk he would flee the country.
In addition to the two federal cases, Kelly is facing charges from state prosecutors in Illinois and Minnesota. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.
A family in Njoro has accused the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) of neglecting their depressed 30-year-old son battling mental illness after deployment in Somalia.
Second Lieutenant John Njoroge, (pictured), joined KDF after graduating with a Military Science degree and commissioned as an officer at the Kenya Military Academy, Lanet in 2014.
According to his mother Joyce Wangari, Njoroge, who scored an A- in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination, brought a ray of hope to the family after he joined the military.
“Whenever he came home after commissioning, he showed commitment to serve in the military. He provided financial support to the entire family and his own,” she said.
According to documents seen by The Standard, Njoroge was among the Kenyan troops deployed to Somalia between December 2016 and January 2018 under the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM)
Then the attack on Kenyan soldiers by the Al Shabaab at Kulbiyow camp happened, and Njoroge was never the same again.
The second lieutenant was among the survivors of the January 27, 2017 attack that left at least 68 of his colleagues dead and scores injured.
The family noticed something was wrong as soon as Njoroge returned home.
“He was well until after that attack. When he came back home from the deployment, we started noticing a change in behaviour. He would fight with anyone, including me, and later apologise,” said Njoroge’s father Peter Mwangi.
After his return from the Somalia assignment, Njoroge was attached to the 20th Parachute Battalion based at the Kenyatta Barracks in Gilgil.
In October last year, he went home and informed his family that he had been given a three-month leave and would report back to work in January 2019. It was then that the family realised he had changed.
“When he arrived home he was calm. The next morning, he broke 12 glass windows of a house he built for us. He threatened to kill his wife with whom he had one child. His wife left with the child,” said his father.
The family reported the matter at Njoro Police Station, where he was referred to the Military Police, who picked Njoroge and took him back to Kenyatta barracks.
“We were promised that he would be taken to Defence Forces Memorial Hospital. Days later, he informed us he had been transferred to Embakasi barracks. We thought this meant he had recovered,” said his mother.
The family was wrong. Months later, a friend spotted Njoroge wandering on Nairobi’s streets looking confused and lost. He was wearing one shoe.
The friend called Njoroge’s parents, who asked that he be taken to Nakuru, from where they picked him.
“I took him back to Gilgil barracks and was promised he would be taken care of. Days later he showed up at home in his own car,” said his father.
But all was not well. On arrival, Njoroge stormed his elder sister’s eatery and splashed boiling cooking oil on her. His sister escaped unhurt.
In March this year, Njoroge, whose bouts of anger have continued to worsen, stabbed his brother twice in the abdomen, nearly killing him. The family then reported the matter to the military in a letter dated March 30. Their son had become a danger to them and to himself.
“Our son’s condition has been worsening. He has become alcoholic and violent towards anyone he comes across. We are now mentally tortured,” the letter read.
The family has called on KDF to take Njoroge and rehabilitate him, saying it gave the Government a healthy son but got back a broken man.
When reached for comment, the Department of Defence (DoD) said that Njoroge’s contract with the military was terminated before his condition worsened.
No longer serving
“Second Lieutenant (Rtd) John Njoroge Mwangi is no longer serving in the Kenya Defence Forces. His Commission was terminated in August 2018 on disciplinary grounds. During his time in service, he did not exhibit any signs of psychological disturbance,” read part of the response from DoD.
His parents, however, say they are not aware that their son has been fired.
“You are the first person to tell us that our son was fired. Why didn’t the military inform us? If he was fired, that could have even worsened his condition,” said his father.
Asked whether there was any plan to assist the family, the DoD responded: “Second Lt (Rtd) Mwangi is no longer serving in KDF.”
This is after Hanifa Were, flanked by the Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri), gave a presser on Sunday 15 September laying bare her alleged relationship with the senator who is currently dating Saumu Mbuvi, Governor Mike Sonko’s daughter.
According to Hanifa, they met through Facebook, with the senator offering her money.
“He texted me on (Facebook) messenger. I was hesitant when he introduced himself as a senator. I did not even know there was a senator by that name but after exchanging contacts we got to video chat and that’s when I confirmed it was him,” she said.
The day after, Loitiptip offered Hanifa money as she took her daughter back to school in Nairobi, professing his love for her.
While in Nairobi, Hanifa claims that she spent the night at the senator’s home near Thika Road Mall, marking the beginning of her alleged relationship with the senator.
During her stay at his home, Loitiptip called her from work saying that he would not be returning home as he had an urgent meeting to attend in Kisumu. Reading deception in his explanation, Hanifa opted to return to Mombasa with the promise that the senator would call after his trip. Communication never came.
After three weeks with no communication, Hanifa felt unwell and took a test that revealed she was pregnant.
“When I informed him, he became hostile towards me but I decided to keep my baby.”
“I was shocked when I say him on TV saying Saumu was his fiancé as he had told me he was single,” she said.
Threatening messages, being trailed
Hanifa claims that the senator then started sending her messages on Facebook, warning her to stay away from his family. According to Loitiptip, the move was aimed at fending off a woman out to ruin his family.
Hanifa further claimed that thrice, she spotted people close to Loitiptip outside her house, prompting her to report the matter at Kadzandani Police Station in Kisauni under OB number 30 of 14/9/19.
“This is the man who has been following me. I fear for my life. I am afraid of Anwar. He is not a good person,” she said, showing journalists photos of a man she had allegedly spotted outside her house standing behind the senator.
Speaking to the press on September 15, Loitiptip denied the allegations, saying that Hanifa is forcing things between them.
“I had an affair with this woman which did not last more than a week. Why is she forcing love? It’s been six months since we left each other. Why would she come out now?”
“Why would I want to kill her? Should I be dealing with my fellow politicians or a woman? She should stop forcing things.”
Police have since launched investigations into the claims.
Police in Kisumu have launched a manhunt for a man suspected to have killed a teacher whose decomposing body was found inside her house yesterday.
The man is said to be from Mariakani or Mazeras in Coast and was the last person seen with the slain mother of one.
Kisumu County Commander Benson Maweu said they want the man to help police with investigations into the murder.
The Ulalo Primary School teacher is suspected to have been killed on Thursday night, in their rented house in Kapuonja, Kisumu West sub-county.
Yesterday, neighbours alarmed by a stench from the two-roomed house and the cry of a child, opened the door and stumbled on the body.
Covered in blood and weak after two days of hunger while sleeping on the cold floor, the baby reached for the neighbours.
“We gave her some milk which she took then fell asleep,” said Rose Akoth, one of the neighbours.
She said they found Achieng lying dead on the bed, her face swollen, one eye gouged out and her tongue sticking out. The body was covered with a piece of cloth on the chest.
Akoth said the couple appeared happy on Thursday evening. “We did not hear any screams and neither did we see the man leave,” she said.
Maweu said a post-mortem will be conducted as the investigators began tracking the teacher’s final moments amid search for the suspect. The landlord, Francis Omollo, said the man once told him he was from Mariakani although he could not recall him saying his name.
In a visitor’s book the suspect signed at Ulalo Primary School on May 19, he gave his name as Abdi Rashid. A contact he gave was not going through yesterday.
Locals at a remote village in Narok North are still in shock after a village elder eloped with a girl his eldest son was planning to marry.
His son had introduced the girl to him and expressed his desire to settle down with her. The wealthy (by village standards) man found the girl ‘too hot to resist’, and turned tables on his son.
The wheat farmer began making passes at her whenever an opportunity presented itself. The old man was so determined that he used all means- threats, money and smooth-talking, to win the girl’s heart.
He allegedly sweet-talked the Class Eight drop out and bad-mouthed his son while at it. He convinced her not to get married to his son, claiming the young lad had no money of his own and that he depends on him for his daily needs.
The old man allegedly threatened the girl with a curse and further told her that if she insisted on marrying the young man, he would not sanction the marriage.
At her wit’s end, the poor girl is said to have reluctantly given in. Once the deal was sealed, the old man disappeared with her to Narok town, where they are believed to have stayed at a lodging, for days.
“The poor boy came to learn that his father, who has three wives, had taken away the girl who is now pregnant. He only makes technical appearances to his wives, which led to suspicion before his cover was blown,” said a relative, who said that a cleansing ceremony will have to be undertaken.
When Crazy Monday traced the couple to backstreet lodging, the old man almost clobbered this writer. He was angry, but later calmed down and opened up saying he was on honeymoon and didn’t want disturbance.
“This girl is the love of my life and she will take care of me until I die. She was not meant for my son, the boy is too young and broke. He can’t even afford his own underwear, how will he keep a wife?” roared the old man without elaborating further.
When reached for comment on the shocking incident, the young man said he was helpless and couldn’t believe his own father would do such.
“I was so shocked and disappointed because the matter is now in the public domain. However, there is nothing I can do. I fear being cursed by my father,” he whined.
Local elders have picked up the matter, but it’s proving to be a hard nut to crack. Reason? The man is also a village elder and a reliable arbitrator in domestic squabbles.
When offering baskets went missing during football legend Joe Kadenge’s requiem mass weeks back, the story became the talk of town.
Reportedly, 25 offering baskets were given out to members of the church and only 20 were returned. Five went missing, with some locals blaming the unfortunate incident on hard economic times.
“The pastor who presided over the requiem mass had given out 25 baskets to different church members to help in reaching out to everyone in the mammoth crowd that turned up at Gisambai Secondary School in Vihiga County to bid farewell to the legend,” says Avedi, a local.
The man of God begged those who had helped themselves to the offerings to hand them back or risk curses but all was in vain.
“We gave out 25 baskets and I cannot see the remaining five. Those who were given are kindly requested to come out and bring them to the altar or else…,” the pastor called out.
Despite calling out more than six times for the persons to return the baskets, no one turned out, forcing the pastor to grudgingly pray for what had been returned.
But the man of God didn’t give up. Hours later in the evening, around 5 o’clock after ODM leader Raila Odinga, who was the highest-ranking visitor, finished his speech, the pastor begged for the return of the baskets in vain.
But last week the empty baskets were found in a thicket by local herdsmen. How and who made away with the baskets remain a mystery.
Flamboyant Kenyan singer Esther Akoth alias Akothee could be expected her 6th child.
Through hints she has been posting on her social media accounts, Akothee caused a frenzy among her Instagram followers on Wednesday with a sonogram believed to be hers that suggested she is expecting a baby girl.
In the caption, Akothee revealed the name of the baby and its father.
“My name is Chloe’ my dad’s name is Kevin and my mom is Akoth tell my mom to calm down I saw her trying to take wine today and I refused! I had to send her to the toilet,” the caption read.
This is not the second time in under a month that the Oyoyo hitmaker has insinuated that baby number six is on the way.
On August 10, again through Instagram, she posted another sonogram showing she was 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
“6 weeks 3 days and I didn’t know as the owner of this thing was sharp, what will I tell people (nitaambia watu nini jamani),” she wrote
Contacted by SDE, her management responded to our queries in the affirmative but promised to get back to us with more.
Born in 1983 in today’s Kisumu County, Akothee’s family life started early soon after eloping with her ex-husband, Jared, when she was in Form Two at Nyabisawa Girls, Migori.
Her relationship with Jared bore three daughters; Vesha Shalian Okello, model Celine Dion Okello alias Rue Baby and Prudence Apundo.
“I had only 3 children but I had dropped 4 in my 10 years of marriage, one passed on at 8 months. I didn’t have money to take him to the hospital early enough, or maybe it was God’s time” she said.
The entrepreneur also has two young sons; Oyoo and Ojwang.
Veteran Kenyan singer and songwriter Eric Wainaina has admitted to cheating on his wife Sheba Hirst.
Speaking during an interview with the Sunday Magazine’s Jacqueline Mahugu, Wainaina owned up to cheating on his wife a decade ago.
Wainaina narrated that the infidelity hurt his wife so bad that he would never want her to go through the same experience ever again.
“Of course this comes from having slipped up before and understanding how much it hurt my wife, and deciding I don’t ever want to do that again.
“The biggest accomplishment for me, in tandem with my wife, is having saved our relationship from imploding,” said Wainaina.
The Selina hitmaker narrated that when news of his infidelity became public, he owned up to it, knowing he had made a mistake.
“Of course I minded, but I owned it. I did not go to the press to start defending myself because that’s not the kind of person I am.
“Also, a thing like that, while I think it is right to suffer some degree of public shame, making it public is not the way to solve it because all you can do is defend yourself instead of fixing it.
“I expected it to get as bad as it got, and I was definitely not going to deny it but now it’s in my past,” he added.
The 45-year-old noted that the experience taught him so much on the importance of trust and faithfulness in relationships.
“I learnt a lot of lessons about faithfulness. We live in a society where men have been raised to imagine that it is ok to have multiple partners and that your friends will keep your secrets for you,” continued Wainaina.
The singer reiterated that the society has played a part in making men think it is okay to have multiple partners with friends supporting and covering up for them as they break their homes.
“You can dodge your wife in the company of your best friend there. And when your wife calls him when seated right there with you, he will for sure come up with an excuse for you. Something like… ‘Oh, Eric just stepped out…’
“I told my friends I don’t need that from them and I don’t want to be their excuse either. Don’t get your girlfriend to call me and ask whether we were with you. I will say nope, I was not,” concluded the singer.
Touted as Kenya’s richest female entertainer, Esther Akoth better known as Akothee has officially dwarfed a 2004 show stopper move by rapper Jackson Makini alias Prezzo.
On Saturday, August 31, Akothee took a three-minute chopper ride from Deputy President William Ruto’s Weston Hotel to Carnivore for a soundcheck session in anticipation of yesternight’s Luo Festival.
And as Chris Kirwa highlighted, the walking distance destination was not a factor for the flamboyant singer who replicated Prezzo’s iconic appearance at the Chaguo La Teeniez Awards when he also took a helicopter from Wilson Airport to Carnivore.
According to photos shared by Akothee, she was chauffeured in and out of the four-star hotel in a white limousine complete with customized plates.
The stretch limo was flanked on both sides by over six bodyguards dressed in black suits who ran alongside it in a tight formation akin to those protecting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
On hand to receive the serial entrepreneur who owns among others; a tour company, a luxury apartment complex in the North Coast, mansions in Nairobi, Rongo, Mombasa, Switzerland and France as she landed was comedian Jalang’o.
“Being Akothee is a calling! Flying 3 minutes for soundcheck being Jalang’o is a blessing, not every woman can keep up with Jalang’o’s madness like I do! I love you babyna wamoke kawuono!” She posted.
Jalang’o could not hide his excitement either.
“This woman Akothee…wacha tu! The trouble you make me go through…Anyway, let the party begin now! Luo festival tonight!!”
The unlikely love story between a 27-year-old woman and an 83-year-old famous shaman in Indonesia’s Central Java province has been making headlines in the Asian country for the past week.
Despite the controversy regarding the age difference between them, the young woman claims she fell in love with her new husband the moment she saw him.
Nuraeni first met 83-year-old Sudirgo in July, when the girl accompanied her parents to the famous shaman’s house in Desa Jatilaba, to seek his advice.
It was then that the young woman says she fell in love with the octogenarian, and even though she left with her family, she kept finding excuses to visit the grandfather of eight.
She even asked him to visit her at her family’s home, and even though the signs were pretty clear, the 83-year-old says he didn’t even consider a romantic relationship because of his advanced age.
However, he could only resist love so long, and after confessing his feeling to Nuraeni and asking her to marry him, she accepted.
Before the unlikely couple could get married, they needed to get the blessing of their families.
While Nuraeni’s family agreed to the union faster than the girl had expected, Sudirgo’s children, the oldest of whom is old enough to be Nuraeni’s father (51-years-old) took a bit more convincing.
What they wanted to know most was why the 27-year-old didn’t find a husband closer to her own age.
“Yes, actually my husband’s children have asked many times why I did not look for a partner the same age as me, but I just love my grandfather,” Nuraeni told Tribun Jateng. Tarti, one of Surdigo’s daughters, told reporters that she herself asked Nuraeni to find a partner closer to her own age, but the girl insisted that Surdigo was the only one for her.
After seeing her determination to become Surdigo’s life partner, and seeing as this was what he wanted, Tarti and her siblings gave the couple their blessings.
Nuraeni and Surdigo were married on August 18, in front of their families and dozens of villagers. This was the girl’s first marriage and Surdigo’s fourth.
Despite the controversy regarding the 56-year age difference between them, Surdigo’s children claim that their new step-mother is truly in love with the 83-year-old man, and did not marry him for fame and fortune.
“Yes, it’s true that many heads of the neighbouring village visit my father to ask for prayer, but that does not mean Nuraeni fell in love with my father because of that,” Tarti, an elementary school teacher, said.
This news story echoes another controversial union that took Indonesia by storm a couple of years ago.
Back in July of 2017, we wrote about a 16-year-old boy who married a 71-year-old woman after allegedly falling in love with her.