R. Kelly Remains on Suicide Watch in Prison, Lawyer Claims It's 'Unnecessary and Punitive'
By Leah Sarnoff
Kamil Krzaczymski/AFP via Getty Images
R. Kelly continues to be held under suicide watch while in prison, according to his lawyer. This, after the disgraced singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.
Kelly was placed on suicide watch following a psychological assessment after his sentencing. In the court filing, obtained by ET, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Speight claimed Kelly's “current life circumstances undoubtedly bring emotional distress. He is a convicted sex offender who has been sentenced to spend the next three decades in prison,” she added. “In the immediate future, he faces another federal criminal trial in Chicago for charges related to child pornography.”
His lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, released a statement to ET, claiming that Kelly continuing to be held on suicide watch is "unnecessary and punitive."
"The BOP continues to violate his constitutional rights by subjecting him to the harsh conditions of suicide watch that are unnecessary and punitive. They are protecting him from nothing and are prioritizing their own interests," Bonjean said. "
"He was not and is not suicidal although perhaps that is what they are trying to accomplish. Notably they refuse to hand over the assessment that allegedly justifies his status and claim that the courts have no ability to review this decision. The BOP is acting entirely in secrecy which is terrifying," she continued.
Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. On June 29, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in jail, five years of supervised release and a $100,000 fine, nine months after he was found guilty on one count of racketeering and eight violations of the Mann Act by a federal jury.
Kelly has been jailed without bail since 2019. Outside of New York, Kelly faces multiple charges in Illinois and Minnesota, including aggravated sexual abuse, child pornography, enticement of a minor, obstruction of justice, prostitution and solicitation of a minor. His Chicago trial is scheduled to begin in August.