The battle over allegations claiming R. Kelly purposely and knowingly gave herpes to multiple Jane Doe’s rages on as the disgraced singer’s trial for running a sex ring that exploited young girls and women approaches.
R. Kelly’s lawyer wants to bar Jane Doe #11’s testimony “to prove that the defendant, in fact, had herpes as early as 2003.” Jane Doe #11 claims she asked Kelly whether he had any sexually transmitted diseases before they had sex.
She ended up contracting the incurable disease and she told R. Kelly that “she believed she got it from him.”
R. Kelly’s lawyer Thomas A. Farinella believes the government is setting up a scenario which would support Jane Doe #4’s allegations that she too, caught herpes from R. Kelly in 2009 because Mr. Kelly already had herpes in 2003, based on Jane Doe # 11’s testimony.
“The government is attempting to back door evidence of whether or not Mr. Kelly did in fact have herpes by relying on a lay witness’s opinion,” R. Kelly’s lawyer Thomas A. Farinella said.
“By allowing such testimony in, by a lay person, as proof that Mr. Kelly
had herpes in 2003, would be to circumvent the requirement of having an expert testify as to whether or not Mr. Kelly had herpes,” Farinella argued.
So far, it is unclear whether or not an expert will testify about when R. Kelly contracted herpes, but the allegation has been a “sore” point for the singer for months.
R. Kelly’s defense team claims that under Section 2307 of the New York Public Health Law from 1943, herpes is a virus and not an “infectious venereal disease.”
“The law does not punish the transmission of herpes, nor does it punish the failure to disclose to another that one has an STD,” R. Kelly’s ex-lawyer Steve Greenberg explained. “Instead, it prohibits anyone who has an STD from having sexual intercourse.”
Meanwhile, R.Kelly’s sex trafficking trial is all set after the 12-member jury was sworn in on Wednesday (August 11).
Three days after jury selection started, an anonymous panel of seven men and five women were sworn in by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.
The people who were chosen told Judge Donnelly that they know who R. Kelly is, but had little knowledge about the charges levied against him.
R. Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not guilty to a litany of charges alleging he led an “enterprise” consisting of managers, bodyguards, and other employees who helped him recruit young women and underage girls to satisfy his insatiable sexual appetite.
R. Kelly’s lawyers maintain the alleged victims were groupies who went to his shows and were willing participants and in consensual relationships with him.
Opening statements for R. Kelly’s trial will start in New York City next week on August 18.