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R. Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean says her client was placed on suicide watch after being sentenced to 30 years in prison.

A New York judge sentenced R. Kelly to decades behind bars for racketeering and sex trafficking charges on Wednesday (June 29). The disgraced singer is in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

“Mr. Kelly was placed on suicide watch for purely punitive reasons in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights,” Bonjean told the New York Post. “MDC has a policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch whether they are suicidal or not (this was done recently with Ghislaine Maxwell).”

R. Kelly has filed a lawsuit against MDC Brooklyn. He contends being put on suicide watch is “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Bonjean insists R. Kelly isn’t suicidal. She claims her client feared the possibility of ending up on suicide watch.

“The irony of putting someone on suicide watch when they’re not suicidal is it actually causes more harm,” she told CNN.

Bonjean added, “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.”

R. Kelly’s attorney plans to appeal his conviction. But he’s also awaiting trial on charges of child pornography and luring minors into sex acts charges. His second federal trial is scheduled to begin in Chicago on August 15.

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