R. Kelly's attorneys are trying to have witnesses for the prosecution charged with crimes, it emerged in court this morning as the defense continued its pursuit of Sun-Times reporter Jim DeRogatis.
The jury has the day off but Judge Gaughan spent much of this morning in a secret hearing with both sides after prosecutor Shauna Boliker revealed that Kelly's attorneys have asked that state's witnesses be charged.
Boliker did not say which witnesses the defense wants charged, or with what, but Kelly's team has repeatedly questioned this week why witnesses who had seen the sex tape at the center of the case did not contact police sooner.
The defense has also suggested several times that anyone who possessed a copy of the tape committed the crime of child pornography, including DeRogatis.
It's also possible that the defense wants witnesses who have yet to testify charged. The Sun-Times exclusively reported two weeks ago that a state's witness was prepared to testify that she participated in a taped three-way romp with Kelly and the alleged victim.
The defense may be seeking to have that witness charged with child pornography, but until the judge unseals the defense's motion, there's no way of knowing.
During Friday's hearing, defense attorney Marc Martin repeated his demand that DeRogatis testify for the defense, arguing that DeRogatis had "immersed himself in these proceedings" by passing the sex tape to police.
He said he expected DeRogatis would undermine Stephanie "Sparkle" Edwards' testimony and that establishing the circumstances in which the tape found its way into police custody was "crucial to the defense."
Sun-Times attorney Damon Dunn said DeRogatis would assert his "reporter's privilege" against testifying. And Boliker said she could not see what DeRogatis could add to what has already been said in court.
Gaughan seemed unimpressed with the defense's attempts to force DeRogatis to take the stand, telling Martin that he was failing to make a convincing case.
Martin then claimed that Kelly had a Sixth Amendment right to call whatever witnesses he wanted.
But Gaughan responded, "You don't have a right to call (just) anybody as a witness, or the trial would last until infinity."
The judge indicated he would rule next Friday on whether DeRogatis must appear.
Speaking outside court, Dunn said it was clear that the defense "would rather have a reporter on trial than their defendant."
Also during Friday's morning hearing, the prosecution asked Gaughan to reconsider his decision to forbid a doctor from testifying. The state says the doctor would testify why the alleged victim might not be prepared to admit it's her on the tape.
The trial is set to continue Tuesday morning.