R. Kelly found guilty in sex trafficking trial, risks life imprisonment.
R. Kelly has reportedly been placed on suicide watch after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex crimes.
The music star is being held at the federal metropolitan detention center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York.
Jennifer Bonjean, his lawyer, who confirmed the development in a statement to CNN, faulted the move.
Bonjean claimed she was told by prosecutors who spoke with prison officials that his client was placed on suicide watch because he is well-known.
The lawyer described the decision as a violation of R. Kelly’s rights since he is not suicidal.
“The irony of putting someone on suicide watch when they’re not suicidal is it actually causes more harm,” she said.
“It’s punishment for being high-profile. And it’s horrifying frankly. … To put someone under suicide watch under those conditions is cruel and unusual when they don’t need it.”
Bonjean said her team has approached the court to challenge the “illegal” decision.
“MDC-Brooklyn has a policy of punishing high profile inmates by placing them under the harsh conditions of suicide watch even though they are not suicidal,” she added.
But reacting, Scott Taylor, a spokesperson for the bureau of prisons’ offfice of public affairs, allayed the concerns raised over the singer.
Taylor said the bureau, which controls the MDC, “does not provide information about conditions of confinement or internal security practices for any particular inmate for safety and security reasons.”
“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,” it said in an email sent to New York Times.