comscore R. Kelly remains on suicide watch ‘for his own safety,’ federal authorities say | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
News

R. Kelly remains on suicide watch ‘for his own safety,’ federal authorities say

  • ANTONIO PEREZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIA AP, POOL / 2019
                                R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago. Federal authorities are pushing back Saturday, July 2, 2022, on R. Kelly’s claims that he was placed on suicide watch as a form of punishment after a judge sentenced him to 30 years behind bars for using his fame to sexually abuse young girls.

    ANTONIO PEREZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIA AP, POOL / 2019

    R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago. Federal authorities are pushing back Saturday, July 2, 2022, on R. Kelly’s claims that he was placed on suicide watch as a form of punishment after a judge sentenced him to 30 years behind bars for using his fame to sexually abuse young girls.

NEW YORK >> Federal authorities are pushing back on 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 behind bars for using his fame to sexually abuse young girls.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn filed court papers late Saturday saying the disgraced R&B superstar remains on suicide watch “for his own safety” following a psychological assessment.

Kelly’s “current life circumstances undoubtedly bring emotional distress,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Speight wrote in a court filing.

“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.”

Kelly’s attorney filed a lawsuit Friday alleging prison officials placed him on 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 has had no thoughts of harming himself.

“Nothing occurred during sentencing that came as a surprise to Mr. Kelly,” attorney Jennifer Bonjean wrote in the lawsuit. “While the conditions of suicide watch may be appropriate for individuals who are truly at risk of hurting themselves, they are cruel and unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment for individuals who are not suicidal.”

Kelly, 55, didn’t give a statement and showed no reaction upon hearing his sentence, which also included a $100,000 fine.

The Grammy-winning, multiplatinum-selling songwriter was found guilty last year of racketeering and sex trafficking. He has denied wrongdoing, and he plans to appeal his conviction.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has been under heightened scrutiny since financier Jeffrey Epstein killed himself behind bars in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges he sexually abused girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up