/  07.01.2022

Today (July 1), lawyers for R. Kelly announced that the Chicago native has been placed on suicide watch following a 30-year prison sentence delivered this week. As previously reported by REVOLT, the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer is currently in a New York federal prison after U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly ruled Wednesday (June 29) that he would face punishment for his crimes.

Kelly has been convicted of multiple charges, including sex trafficking, racketeering, kidnapping, sexual misconduct, bribery and sexual exploitation of a child. His attorney Jennifer Bonjean told CNN she does not believe her client is suicidal. “The irony of putting someone on suicide watch when they’re not suicidal is it actually causes more harm,” she said of the precaution. Bonjean added, “It’s punishment for being high-profile. And it’s horrifying frankly.” She continued, “To put someone under suicide watch under those conditions is cruel and unusual when they don’t need it.” Following Donnelly’s decision, Kelly’s attorney told members of the press that she plans to appeal his sentence.

“We are now prepared to fight this appeal,” Bonjean said Wednesday. She added, “Our position is this was not a RICO or racketeering act violation. These were isolated events that happened many years ago and the government simply tried to plead around the statute of limitations to bring it in a RICO charge, which was inappropriate.” Kelly, who is being held at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, was instructed to email his attorney once he arrived at the facility. Bonjean claims he has not yet done so. At the time of Kelly’s conviction last September, prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York said the singer used a “network of people at his disposal to target girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.” The trial lasted five weeks and included testimony dating back to the 1990s.

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