The days for R. Kelly just get sadder and sadder as the saga continues to get weirder and weirder. As jury selection is now underway for the criminal charges that he faces in New York, it is now being reported that his legal team is requesting that charges be dropped due to what they feel is a discrepancy in the definition of their use for an STI.
Adding on to the long pile of criminal charges against the “When A Woman’s Fed Up” singer was two women who, according to the New York Times, accused Kelly of knowingly transmitting herpes to them. Both of the women remain unidentified, with at least one revealing in court documents that she was a minor at the time of the incident.
Kelly has always maintained that he is innocent throughout the years, down to his now-infamous sit-down interview with Robin Roberts. At the time of the accusations his lawyer, Doug Anton, released a statement insisting that the government’s decision to release what they feel to be baseless allegations were questionable.
“It seems that the government has sought to add additional allegations as to alleged conduct, with what they believe to be more specificity,” Anton’s statement read. “Why these alleged facts relating to conduct were not known by the government until now or included in the indictment until now, raises questions for my defense team to take an interest in.”
Anton added, “These are serious criminal allegations. How does an alleged victim ‘forget’ such things? Or… perhaps… these alleged victims are not victims at all, but only women who have been told and instructed, even peer-pressured if you will, years later, that the claimed relationship they freely and voluntarily engaged in, should now, in the #metoo era, be classified as ‘bad’ or ‘abusive,’ and they are continually seeking to add facts, even if not truthful, to their story, to make the alleged events as salacious as humanly possible.”
With jury selection now occurring in New York for Kelly’s trial, his legal team has requested for a judge to dismiss a number of charges against him, including the one pertaining to transmitting an STD. A report from Insider reveals that two of his attorneys, Thomas A. Farinella and Nicole Blank Becker, have argued that charging him in that instance was wrong due to the definition of their law.
Farinella and Becker state that “an acute, bacterial venereal disease such as syphilis or gonorrhea” as per law, would be considered a misdemeanor. Simply put, they claim transmitting herpes doesn’t count.
New York’s Public Health law states that “Any person who, knowing himself or herself to be infected with an infectious venereal disease, has sexual intercourse with another shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
According to Insider, prosecutors have been given several days to make their decision in regards to Kelly’s team’s motion. After a long delay due to the pandemic, Kelly’s trial in New York is slated to last for four weeks, with opening statements scheduled for August 18th. He also faces charges in Chicago as well as other states.