Disgraced R&B singer, R Kelly has asked a judge through his lawyers to dismiss 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.
Using the World Health Organisation and New York State Department of Health as a guide, Kelly and his lawyers are arguing that herpes is in fact a virus and not a bacterial venereal disease, so believe the charges should be dropped.
His legal team also argued that charges – including bribing a Chicago clerk to allow Kelly to marry singer Aaliyah even though she was underage – should be dropped because the statute of limitations had passed.
“To allow the government to move forward with those counts would be to allow a clear mischaracterisation and interpretation of the application of the statute, considering the statute clearly does not incorporate herpes,” Kelly’s lawyer, Thomas Farinella, wrote.
Kelly stands accused of running a racketeering enterprise that trafficked women and girls across state lines. He allegedly had sex with numerous minors and made child pornography, prosecutors say. He also forced his victims to call him “Daddy”, and did not allow them to eat or leave rooms without his permission, prosecutors will argue.
Opening statements will begin on 18 August after Kelly fired his original legal team.