Federal authorities are fighting back R. Kelly’s claims that he was placed on suicide watch as a form of punishment last week after a judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison for using his fame to sexually abuse young girls .
The US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn filed court filings late Saturday saying the disgraced R&B superstar continued to guard suicide after a psychological evaluation “for his own safety.”
Kelly’s “current circumstances undoubtedly bring with them emotional distress,” Assistant US Attorney Melanie Speight wrote in a court filing.
“He’s a convicted sex offender who has been sentenced to the next three decades in prison,” she added. “In the immediate future, he faces another federal criminal trial in Chicago on child pornography charges.”
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Kelly’s attorney filed a lawsuit on Friday, alleging prison officials placed him under suicide watch at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center “solely for punitive purposes and because of his status as a high-profile inmate,” adding that Kelly had no thought of killing himself to hurt.
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“Nothing happened during the sentencing that would have surprised Mr. Kelly,” attorney Jennifer Bonjean wrote in the lawsuit. “While the conditions of suicide surveillance may be appropriate for individuals who are genuinely at risk of harming themselves, they are cruel and unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment for individuals who are not suicidal.”
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Kelly, 55, offered no explanation and showed no reaction upon hearing his verdict, which also included a $100,000 fine.
The Grammy-winning, multi-platinum songwriter was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking last year. He has denied wrongdoing and plans to appeal his conviction.
The US Bureau of Prisons has come under heightened scrutiny since financier Jeffrey Epstein killed himself behind bars while awaiting trial in 2019 for sexually assaulting girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s had abused.
© 2022 The Associated Press
https://globalnews.ca/news/8964201/r-kelly-suicide-watch-feds/ R. Kelly remains on suicide watch ‘for his own safety,’ say Feds – National