R. Kelly was placed on suicide watch following conviction
Kelly, the disgraced superstar R&B singer, was convicted in September of nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking.
R. Kelly’s lawyer informed a federal judge Wednesday that the disgraced R&B singer-songwriter was placed on suicide watch following his sex trafficking conviction last month.
Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, told Chicago U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons placed Kelly on suicide watch, The Chicago Tribune reported. It is a common practice by federal officials to place recently convicted inmates under monitoring.
However, Greenberg also claimed that Kelly, 54, hadn’t expressed any specific threat to harm himself, and the watch had since been lifted. He said Kelly was looking to change his legal team since his conviction in September on nine charges of racketeering and sex trafficking.
“I think he’s talking about bringing in new lawyers in New York,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg was in court as Leinenweber set an Aug. 1, 2022, jury trial date for Kelly and two of his associates, co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown. The trio is charged with four sexual abuse charges, including producing child pornography.
According to court records, Kelly taped himself having sex with three underage girls.
Kelly and his associates were charged in a 13-count federal indictment from 2019 of running interference to prevent the underage girls and their families from speaking to authorities. The scheme also allegedly involved payments. The indictment further claimed the word “SETTLEMENT” was used as a description for the transactions.
“Minor 1,” one of the underage girls, is now cooperating with federal officials in the case against Kelly, which is expected to last three to four weeks in Chicago. He faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison for the lead charge of producing child porn.
Kelly attended the hearing virtually from a Brooklyn federal jail, but he didn’t speak. His lawyer argued that the pending trial in Chicago shouldn’t be rushed because a sentence has still not been handed down to Kelly in Brooklyn. Kelly is expected to be sentenced on May 4, 2022, after a Brooklyn jury found him guilty of eight counts of violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex-trafficking statute, and one count of racketeering.
He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, theGrio previously reported.
Deveraux L. Cannick, an attorney for Kelly, blasted the verdict. His defense has long claimed Kelly is the actual victim of “groupies” and “stalkers,” and that all his relationships were consensual.
“Of course we are disappointed in the verdict,” Cannick said. “I am even more disappointed in the prosecution for bringing this case,” he added, calling it “replete with inconsistencies.”
It is not yet clear if Greenberg was referring to Cannick as one of the lawyers Kelly wanted to be removed from his defense team.
Kelly is also facing two counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor in Minnesota, following an incident in Minneapolis. He allegedly offered a female fan under the age of 18, but at least 16 years old, $200 to dance naked for him, then had sexual contact with her. Kelly was charged in August 2019.