Friday, December 2, 2022

Feds say R. Kelly wasn’t placed on suicide watch as punishment

R. Kelly’s claims that he was placed on suicide watch at a Brooklyn jail as punishment for his rampant sex crimes were scoffed at by prosecutors.

The “Ignition” singer was given the proper treatment at Metropolitan Detention Center after last week’s sentencing, according to court papers filed by federal prosecutors.

The feds added that Kelly needs to adjust to life behind bars for the “extraordinarily serious crimes” he has committed.

Kelly’s lawyers argued in a lawsuit filed Friday that the R&B legend was being held in a “gulag” and was only placed on suicide watch because of his “high profile” status.

In an emergency response to Kelly’s suit, feds said the singer was being monitored “for his own safety.”

A Bureau of Prisons psychologist “conducted an in-person assessment” of Kelly after he was sentenced last week to 30 years behind bars, according to court papers filed on behalf of Brooklyn US Attorney Breon Peace.

The prison doctor determined that being on watch was in Kelly’s best interest.

Federal prosecutors denied R. Kelly’s claim that he was placed on suicide watch in jail as a punishment for his sexual abuse conviction.
Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

The feds also said the disgraced singer “fails to argue that his time on suicide watch is particularly harsh compared to ordinary prison life.”

“Significantly, Plaintiff does not explain why placement on the suicide watch list will cause him irreparable mental harm separate and apart from his incarceration in general,” prosecutors Melanie Speight and Joseph Marutollo wrote.

“Plaintiff’s current life circumstances undoubtedly bring emotional distress. Plaintiff has been convicted of extraordinarily serious crimes in a case that has generated immense public attention. He is a convicted sex offender who has been sentenced to spend the next three decades in prison.”

Kelly was placed on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Detention Center after he was sentenced.
Kelly was placed on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Detention Center after he was sentenced.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The feds’ court papers, filed Saturday, also noted that Kelly — who was convicted of exploiting his fame to prey on underage fans — “faces another federal criminal trial in Chicago for charges related to child pornography.”

“Nothing in Plaintiff’s complaint or motion suggests that the alleged conditions of being on suicide watch at [Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center] are, alone, generating Plaintiff severe distress, rather than these other pressing concerns,” the prosecutors wrote.

On Friday, Kelly filed a potential $100 million suit alleging that he was being subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” by the scrutiny intended to keep him from killing himself in the MDC, which he claimed “is run like a gulag.”

The feds said that Kelly’s request for a preliminary injunction to free him from suicide watch should be denied and that they would seek to have his suit thrown out of court “following proper service of the Complaint.”

Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean — who in court papers said that Kelly wasn’t suicidal and compared his treatment to that of child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell — called the feds’ response “entirely deficient.”

“Notably, they did not provide the actual assessment to the court (or me) even under seal,” Bonjean said in an email Sunday.

“The government’s argument in a nutshell is the BOP can do what it wants in the name of the inmate’s safety and well-being, even when we know they are actually causing harm to the inmate and no one can question it, even the courts. ”

Bonjean added: “Allowing the BOP to operate in this type of secrecy should terrify everyone.”

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