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R. Kelly's lawyer is suing a New York prison for placing him on suicide watch.
The I Believe I Can Fly hitmaker, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday after being found guilty of racketeering and violating an anti-sex trafficking law by leading a scheme to recruit women for sex.
His attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, claimed on Friday that the singer had been placed on suicide watch at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center for "purely punitive reasons" because he's a "high-profile inmate" and he has no thoughts of harming himself.
"My partner and I spoke with Mr. Kelly following his sentencing. He expressed that he was mentally fine, was behaving appropriately, and was eager to pursue his appeal. He did express concerns that even though he was NOT suicidal, (Metropolitan Detention Center) would place him on suicide watch," she said, reports E! News. "We are in the process of filing a complaint and an emergency rule to show cause with the courts."
She believes holding Kelly in confinement without cause "is illegal and they will be held accountable for it".
The Federal Bureau of Prisons responded to Bonjean's allegations via a statement to E!, saying, "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."
In court documents filed on Saturday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Speight insisted that Kelly remains on suicide watch "for his own safety" following a psychological assessment, and stated that his "current life circumstances undoubtedly bring emotional distress".