R. Kelly sues Brooklyn jail for putting him on suicide watch


In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn, R. Kelly said Metropolitan Detention Center officials ordered the watch after his June 29 sentencing “solely for punitive purposes” and because he was a “very in sight”. ― Reuters file photo

Saturday July 02 2022 08:48 MYT

NEW YORK, July 2 — R. Kelly yesterday sued the Brooklyn jail that has housed him since his conviction for racketeering and sex crimes, claiming it put him on suicide watch after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. when he knew he was not suicidal.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn, the 55-year-old multi-platinum R&B singer said Metropolitan Detention Center officials ordered the watch after his June 29 sentencing “solely for punitive purposes” and because he was a “high profile” inmate. .

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, quoted a prosecutor as saying the prison legal counsel told her that “according to the psychology department, [Kelly] is on psychological alert for a variety of reasons, such as age, crime, publicity, and conviction. No timetable was provided.

Bonjean was not satisfied with the explanation. “Put simply, MDC Brooklyn is run like a gulag,” she wrote.

Kelly said the “harsh conditions” he faced resulted in “severe mental distress” and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment that violated the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution.

He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, although the filing suggests Kelly is seeking US$100 million (RM440.7 million).

The prison did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Known for the 1996 Grammy-winning hit I believe i can flyKelly was convicted last September of one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors said Kelly exploited his fame and wealth for two decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex, with help from those around him.

Kelly said he was also put on suicide watch after his conviction.

Ghislaine Maxwell, another Brooklyn prison inmate, was placed on suicide watch on June 24, four days before she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls .

Maxwell’s lawyer said the British socialite had been given a “suicidal gown” and deprived of clothes, toothpaste and soap, although she was not suicidal either.

Yesterday’s documents do not specify the specific conditions Kelly is facing.

Kelly still faces a trial in August in federal court in Chicago for child pornography and obstruction, and various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota. ― Reuters

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