R. Kelly: Federal prosecutors defend decision to keep disgraced singer on suicide watch
Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, sued the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, its manager and unnamed employees, and the United States itself, for placing him on suicide watch. , according to the documents.
Kelly, 55, alleges he was “placed on suicide watch as a form of punishment even though he was not suicidal,” according to the federal government’s response to his filing.
Jail attorneys said Kelly’s claims should be dismissed because he “fails to show a substantial likelihood of success in obtaining relief,” according to court documents. The prison plans to keep Kelly on suicide watch because he meets the criteria to be placed on suicide watch, according to court documents.
The government argues that Kelly is asking the courts to micromanage custody decisions that are left to the discretion of expert prison managers.
Since Kelly returned to prison with his new 30-year sentence, he has seen a doctor from the prison’s psychology department once a day to determine whether he should remain on suicide watch, court documents show.
He is allowed to meet with his legal team under suicide watch, according to court documents.
On Friday, Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, told CNN she believed Kelly was afraid of being put under surveillance.
“The irony of putting someone on suicide watch when they’re not suicidal is that it actually causes more harm,” Bonjean said.
Bonjean said earlier that prosecutors who spoke to prison officials told him Kelly was placed on suicide watch because he was well known.
“It’s a punishment for being so publicized. And frankly, it’s awful,” she said. “Putting someone on suicide watch under these conditions is cruel and unusual when they don’t need it.”
Kelly is due to stand trial in Illinois in August on federal child pornography and obstruction charges, then will be transferred to the custody of the Northern District of Illinois, court records show.
CNN’s Susannah Cullinane, Sonia Moghe and Mirna Alsharif contributed to this report.