R. Kelly Placed on Suicide Watch After Being Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

R. Kelly's lawyer said that he was placed on suicide watch at a New York detention facility after being sentenced to 30 years in jail for sex trafficking, racketeering, and more. Find out more below.

By Emlyn Travis Jul 01, 2022 8:35 PMTags
Watch: R. Kelly Sentenced to Prison in Sex Trafficking Case

Days after being sentenced to 30 years in jail for sex trafficking, R. Kelly's lawyer has revealed that the rapper has been placed on suicide watch.  

In a July 1 statement to E! News, Kelly's lawyer Jennifer Bonjean shared that she believed the 55-year-old, who is currently being held at a New York detention center, was "placed on suicide watch for purely punitive reasons in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights."   

"My partner and I spoke with Mr. Kelly following his sentencing, he expressed that he was mentally fine, was behaving appropriately, and was eager to pursue his appeal," she said. "He did express concerns that even though he was NOT suicidal, [Metropolitan Detention Center] would place him on suicide watch (as they did following the guilty verdict)."  

Referencing Ghislaine Maxwell's similar circumstance ahead of her sentencing this week, Bonjean claimed that the facility has a "policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch whether they are suicidal or not."  

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"We are in the process of filing a complaint and an emergency rule to show cause with the courts," she concluded, adding that she believed the facility's "confinement of Mr. Kelly to suicide watch is illegal and they will be held accountable for it." 

Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty Images

In a statement to E! News, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) media relations said that it "does not provide information about conditions of confinement or internal security practices for any particular inmate." 

It added, "The BOP is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all inmates in our population, our staff, and the public. Humane treatment of the men and women in our custody is a top priority." 

The musician's June 29 sentencing comes just nine months after a jury found him guilty on all nine counts of racketeering, bribery, coercion, enticement and sex trafficking against him. The charges involved six female victims, including late singer Aaliyah, who married Kelly in 1994 at the age of 15.   

Kelly, who has remained in jail since his July 2019 arrest, has previously pleaded not guilty to all counts in the past. In addition to 30 years behind bars, he also received a $100,000 fine and five years of supervised release.   

However, his legal battle is far from over. Kelly is set to go on trial again on August 15 as he faces child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago, per NBC News. He has denied the charges against him. 

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