Disgraced R&B singer and songwriter R Kelly has been placed on suicide watch after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for racketeering and sex trafficking crimes.
Kelly, 55, received the lengthy sentence on Wednesday, June 29. His suicide watch was announced by his attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who said the musician isn’t suicidal, CNN reported.
“The irony of putting someone on suicide watch when they’re not suicidal is it actually causes more harm,” Bonjean 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.”
Kelly was convicted of nine counts of racketeering and sex crimes in September 2021 after a five-week trial.
The sentence is in line with prosecutors’ wishes as they requested more than 25 years, while Kelly’s defense asked for 10 years or less.
One of Kelly’s victims, Jovante Cunningham, celebrated the 30-year sentence R Kelly received.
“I started this journey 30 years ago,” Cunningham said outside the court after the hearing. “There wasn’t a day in my life up until this moment that I actually believed that the judicial system would come through for Black and brown girls. I stand here very proud of my judicial system, very proud of my fellow survivors and very pleased with the outcome.”
Here are some reactions from Twitter:
PHOTO: R. Kelly briefly addresses Judge Ann Donnelly during his sentencing in federal court, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)