R. Kelly: 7 Child-Porn Charges Dropped

03/01/2004 at 01:37 AM EST

In a move that prosecutors described as "routine," seven of the 21 charges facing R. Kelly were dismissed on Friday, the Associated Press reports.

The Grammy-winning R&B singer (full name: Robert Kelly) saw charges dropped for the count of soliciting a minor to appear in child pornography. Kelly's attorney had attempted to get those charges dismissed at a hearing in December, when he argued that they referred to a statute that became a law after the tape was recorded.

Kelly was arrested on child pornography charges in June 2002 after a videotape surfaced that allegedly shows him having sex with a minor. He is facing the charges in Chicago.

A spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office downplayed the dismissed charges. "It's a matter of course in cases like this that we'd drop charges right before trial," Jerry Lawrence said.

But reps for the "Chocolate Factory" singer said the dismissal represents "the first official acknowledgement of the weakness of (the prosecution's) case."

Kelly, 37, still faces 14 charges. In addition, he also has been charged with child pornography in Florida, AP reports.

A trial date has not been set for the singer, but Kelly's next hearing is April 2.

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