Image Source: The Pantagraph
After receiving a 30-year jail sentence this week on racketeering and sex trafficking charges, R.Kelly has been placed on suicide watch at the federal detention center in New York, where he is being kept, according to his attorney.
But according to lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, who spoke to CNN, Kelly is not suicidal and had feared being placed on suicide watch.
Later, Kelly’s lawyers filed a lawsuit and requested a temporary restraining order. The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) of Brooklyn and its top executives are named as defendants in the complaint, along with the US government.
The lawsuit claims that when Kelly’s attorneys called the prison facility to inquire about his status after his sentencing, staff repeatedly hung up on them, “laughed, and were exceedingly disrespectful.” In an effort to get a response, CNN has contacted the US Bureau of Prisons and the MDC Warden.
Earlier, Bonjean said that prosecutors who met with prison officials had informed her. Due to his notoriety, Kelly, 55, was put on suicide watch. In order to free Kelly from imprisonment, Bonjean is also asking for a temporary restraining order.
After he was returned to the federal penitentiary following his sentencing on Wednesday, Kelly was asked to contact Bonjean, but she never received a response, according to Bonjean. Until prosecutors asked the prison for information, Bonjean continued, she had not received any responses regarding his status from the holding facility.
A jury found R.Kelly guilty last September of nine charges, including one for racketeering and eight for contravening the Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking. Prosecutors accused Kelly from the Eastern District of New York of targeting young girls, boys, and women for his personal sexual enjoyment by utilizing his famous status and “network of persons at his disposal.”
Read Also: R.Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison
Witnesses who claimed to have been assaulted physically and sexually by Kelly testified during the five-week federal trial in Brooklyn. The disgraced R&B singer married the late singer Aaliyah in 1994 when she was only 15, and he was an adult after she thought she had gotten pregnant, according to testimony given in court by others engaged in the planning.
Kelly’s defense lawyers requested a sentence of 10 years or less; prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Kelly to more than 25 years in prison.