The proceedings of R Kelly’s sexual abuse case has begun and many revelations have been made in only a short period of time. R Kelly’s physician recently testified in the court and confirmed that the rapper had herpes since almost 2007 which he knew about.
The prosecutors had alleged Kelly to have intentionally spread the infection to people with the STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) which is incurable. The physician of the rapper, told the court about the Kelly’s treatment of genital herpes which began in at least 2007.
Kelly, who also separately has lawsuit against him for child pornography, had herpes which he did not inform his sexual partners, who were minor girls. Hence, the rapper has also violated the public health laws under which, a sexually active person, who has an infectious venereal disease, is required to notify or inform their sexual partners about their disease and diagnosis.
On Wednesday’s proceeding, a victim of sexual abuse by R Kelly, Jerhonda Pace, appeared on the court and testified that Kelly had sexually abused her in 2009 when she was 16. After a few months of having unprotected sexual intercourse with the rapper, Pace said that she developed genital herpes. She also stated that Kelly never informed her that he had herpes, and later he had a doctor examine her for the same at his home. The doctor then told her to take medicine for genital herpes.
According to the reports, R Kelly’s physician Kris McGrath has been his physician since the last 25 years. McGrath is a Chicago-based physician specializing in internal medicine. The physician reported appeared in Brooklyn federal court under a subpoena on Thursday, where he confirmed is his testimony that he’d been treating the singer since 1994.
McGrath told that he suspected that Kelly had genital herpes as early as June 2000 as he had the symptoms. However, when a lab test was run, the reports for the infection came back negative. As reported by CNN, the physician McGrath stated that timing of the test is important and that the test itself can sometimes give false negative results as well.
Referring to Kelly’s medical records, the physician said, “I did not conclude that he did not have herpes,” In fact, McGrath testified that after examining and testing Kelly back in June 2000, he did inform singer about the law and had told him that he would be required to “inform your sexual partners so they can make a decision whether or not to have sex with you.”
McGrath said it is recommended to treat genital herpes with a drug known as Valtrex, which can be prescribed for short-term treatments. But if a patient has outbreaks of the disease more than three times a year, McGrath testified, it is recommended that the patient take the medication every single day.
Talking about the treatment of genital herpes, McGrath informed that the said disease is treated with a medicinal drug called Valtrex. Apparently, Kelly or his associates used to call the physician for more refills of Valtrex at a Walgreens pharmacy quite many times. As told by McGrath, if a person has an outbreak of genital herpes, like Kelly did, then the infected person is required to take the drug every day.
However, the defense attorney Nicole Becker, on the other hand, countered McGrath’s testimony by stating that McGrath didn’t document an official genital herpes diagnosis for the singer. Moreover, as per the medical records of Kelly presented in the court by the prosecutors, the earliest documentation of McGrath’s prescription of Valtrex was in March 2007.
Commenting on the case, Roger Canaff, a former assistant district attorney in New York City said, “It is difficult to prove because it is not easy to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew he was infected when the sexual intercourse took place. However, testimony from a doctor who was treating Kelly is damning evidence. It shows that, as far back as 2007, Kelly knew he had a venereal disease. If it can be proven that he knew, and that he continued to have sexual intercourse, then the offense can be proven against him.”
Additionally, McGrath also stated that R Kelly failed to pay his medical fee. On the other hand, he used to give him and his family free tickets to his concerts. In fact, he also used to pay for the physician and his family’s fare to travel to his concert across the country.
As reported earlier, Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been locked up in a federal jail in Chicago since 2019, when he was indicted. The 54-year-old artist was recently faced a trial in a case, for which, he was moved to Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn last month.
R Kelly has been criminally charged for racketeering and sex trafficking, has denied charges. But, if the singer is found guilty, he could face decades of imprisonment.
He has also pleaded not guilty to the charges in Illinois and Minnesota. Kelly’s lawyers stated that the alleged victims in the case were groupies, who willingly turned up at his shows and actively made it known that they “were dying to be with him.” The defense attorney also stated that the girls only started to come up and accuse Kelly of sexual abuse years later when #MeToo movement was the active topic.
Other than girls, the victims of Kelly also included a teenage boy. As per the court filing by the prosecutors, Kelly abused a boy under 18 year old after enticing him of tutoring him in music. CNN reported, “Prosecutors say that Kelly met an unnamed 17-year-old boy at a Chicago McDonald’s and invited him to his studio to mentor him in the music business, and that Kelly allegedly asked him “what he was willing to do to succeed in the music business” and had sexual contact with him, according to a court filing.” The boy is reportedly expected to testify in the court.