BY MODUPEOLUWA ADEKANYE
R. Kelly wants a court to throw out charges claiming he knowingly exposed two people to a sexually transmitted disease.
Kelly is facing a wide array of sex trafficking charges in New York and will also be tried in both Illinois and Minnesota for a series of unrelated abuse crimes. Kelly also stands accused of having sexual contact with an underage boy in 2006.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Kelly and his legal team are attempting to throw out STD charges by claiming that herpes is not a recognised sexually transmitted disease. He also denies the charges.
Furthermore, they said the ‘Step in the Name of Love’ singer should not have been charged with violating New York law when he was accused of transmitting the herpes virus to two accusers.
Kelly also added that the legislature did not include herpes in the law because “it is not an acute bacterial venereal disease.” His legal team also argued that the virus does not fall under the STD umbrella, compared to syphilis or gonorrhea, because of the New York State Department. of Health and the definition of the World Health Organization.
It is unclear whether the justices will drop those charges against Kelly.
Kelly is scheduled to begin the trial on August 18 and is expected to last four weeks. In addition to herpes charges, he faces federal sex trafficking charges in Chicago and state-level sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
Potential jurors are being questioned over whether they can keep an open mind in the case.
When asked how he was feeling, Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux Cannick told the AFP news agency: “Just another Monday.”
Kelly, one of the biggest R&B stars of the 1990s, has been in custody since July 2019.
The New York indictment accuses the singer – whose real name is Robert Kelly – of leading an entourage of managers, bodyguards, and others who recruited and groomed women and girls for sex. Prosecutors say victims were selected at concerts and other venues.
It says he isolated victims from family and friends and required them to call him “Daddy”.