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Lawyers for convicted predator R Kelly have sued the Brooklyn jail where he is being held after being sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and abusing young girls.

The disgraced R&B star was 'illegally placed' him on suicide watch on Friday at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, his atttorney Jennifer Bonjean wrote in a statement on Twitter.


'R. Kelly is not suicidal. He was in fine spirits after his sentencing hearing and ready to fight this appeal,' Bonjean added. 

Bonjean said she believed the 55-year-old was put under suicide watch for 'punitive reasons,' she told Fox News prior to the filing of the legal challenge. 

'Mr. Kelly was placed on suicide watch for purely punitive reasons in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights,' she said. 'MDC has a policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch whether they are suicidal or not. MDC Brooklyn is being run like a gulag.'

Lawyers for convicted predator R Kelly have sued the Brooklyn jail where he is being held after being sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and abusing young girls (pictured in 2019)

Attorney Jennifer Bonjean shared a screenshot of the filed lawsuit on Twitter while claiming that the R&B singer was fine

Bonjean said Kelly was in 'fine spirits' and is 'ready to fight his appeal.' She called the placement of the singer on suicide watch as 'punitive conduct' by the prison

On Wednesday, Judge Ann M. Donnelly handed down Kelly's 30-year sentence in the Brooklyn Federal Court. 

Kelly was convicted of sex-trafficking and racketeering charges last September following a six-week trial that amplified accusations. 

The 'I Believe I Can Fly Singer' has committed the heinous acts for decades before he was convicted. 

Kelly declined to speak at his sentences after the court heard accusations from angered victims about how the singer preyed on them. 

Aside from his 30 year sentence, he must also pay a $100,000 fine. It's unclear where Kelly will spend his sentence.

Donnelly told Kelly he created 'a trail of broken lives,' adding that 'the most seasoned investigators will not forget the horrors your victims endured.'

'These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years,' she said. 'You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.'

Attorney Jennifer Bonjean comforts R Kelly at his sentencing hearing for federal sex trafficking at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn on Wednesday 

Disgraced R&B star R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sex trafficking and abusing young girls as the judge told him 'the public has to be protected'

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Share this article Share What was R Kelly found guilty of at his trial?

R Kelly stood trial Brooklyn federal court last year after he was accused of being the ringleader of a sex ring involving women and underage girls and boys.

The charges were first brought in a five-count superseding indictment in Brooklyn federal court in July 2019.

In March 2020, he was slapped with additional charges upgrading the case to a nine-count indictment.

The charges relate to allegations involving six alleged victims - five women named as Jane Does in the indictment and the singer Aaliyah. These charges are:


The racketeering charge includes 14 underlying acts including: one act of bribery, three acts of sexual exploitation of a child, one act of kidnapping, three acts of forced labor and six acts of violating the Mann Act.

Racketeering charges are used where there is an 'enterprise', mob or mafia running organized crime operations.

In this case, Kelly is accused of running a racketeering 'enterprise' for two decades made up of his 'inner circle' of managers, bodyguards and other employees who would help him recruit women, girls and boys for him to sexually exploit and traffic them around the US.

To convict Kelly on the racketeering charge, jurors had to find him guilty of at least two of the 14 acts.


The Mann Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to traffic people across state lines for prostitution or illegal sexual activity.

Four of these charges relate to an incident involving Jane Doe #5 in 2015 while the other four involve Jane Doe #6 in separate incidents in May 2017 and February 2018.

Three of these charges involve Kelly allegedly exposing the two women to herpes without informing them.

Kelly, who declined to speak at his sentencing, learned his fate after some of his accusers told the court, through tears and anger, that he had preyed on them and misled his fans. He was also was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been detained at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since his trial. It has not been revealed where Kelly would spend his sentence. 

Lizzette Martinez, one of the victims who spoke earlier at the hearing, said she doesn't think Kelly's sentence is enough 'but I'm pleased with it.'

Martinez, who described herself to the reporters as an 'up-and-coming singer, a girl full of life' before she met R Kelly and became 'a sex slave.'

The sentence caps a slow-motion fall for Kelly, who was adored by legions of fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations about his abuse of young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s.

Widespread outrage over Kelly's sexual misconduct didn't come until the #MeToo reckoning, reaching a crescendo after the release of the docuseries 'Surviving R. Kelly.'

Kelly's lawyers had argued he should get no more than 10 years in prison because he had a traumatic childhood 'involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.'

As an adult with 'literacy deficiencies,' the star was 'repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him,' his lawyers said.

Allegations that Kelly abused young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s. He was sued in 1997 by a woman who alleged sexual battery and sexual harassment while she was a minor, and he later faced criminal child pornography charges related to a different girl in Chicago. A jury there acquitted him in 2008, and he settled the lawsuit.

But last year, the jury convicted the 'I Believe I Can Fly' hitmaker after hearing about how he used his entourage of managers and aides to meet girls and keep them obedient, an operation prosecutors said amounted to a criminal enterprise.

Several accusers testified that Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.

The accusers alleged they were ordered to sign nondisclosure forms and were subjected to threats and punishments such as violent spankings if they broke what one referred to as 'Rob's rules.'

Some said they believed the videotapes he shot of them having sex would be used against them if they exposed what was happening.

According to testimony, Kelly gave several accusers herpes without disclosing he had an STD, coerced a teenage boy to join him for sex with a naked girl who emerged from underneath a boxing ring in his garage, and shot a shaming video of one victim showing her smearing feces on her face as punishment for breaking his rules.

Lizzette Martinez, one of the victims who spoke at the sentencing, said she was a 'girl full of life' before she met R Kelly and became 'a sex slave.' She added that she doesn't think Kelly's 30-year sentence is enough 'but I'm pleased with it' 

Evidence also was presented about a fraudulent marriage scheme hatched to protect Kelly after he feared he had impregnated R&B phenom Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15. Witnesses said they were married in matching jogging suits using a license falsely listing her age as 18; he was 27 at the time.

Aaliyah worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, 'Age Ain't Nothing But A Number.' She died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22. 

The abuse continued for years while Kelly continued to sell millions of albums.   

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  • R. Kelly placed on suicide watch in prison despite not being suicidal, attorney says | Fox News

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National Politics | CPAC Dallas is still Trump-centric, but Ron DeSantis is on Texans’ minds

By Michael Williams | The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — The Conservative Political Action Conference is still very much a Donald Trump-dominated event, but ears perked up anytime another name was mentioned during the three-day event in Dallas.

Though Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not at CPAC, he is still omnipresent, with his name stitched on hats and T-shirts and drawing a raucous reaction whenever it’s mentioned onstage. He is widely considered the leader of the post-Trump conservative movement and a potential 2024 presidential candidate.

Ahead of Trump’s headlining speech Saturday, most CPAC attendees said they believe the Republican Party is DeSantis’ to inherit, but not until the former president steps aside.

According to a CPAC straw poll released Saturday, 69% of attendees said they would vote for Trump as nominee if the election were held today, while 24% said they would vote for DeSantis. If Trump is not on the ballot, the vote for DeSantis grows to 65%, according to the poll.

Still, in the absence of a 2024 announcement from Trump, some at CPAC said the passing of the torch should happen sooner rather than later.

Carol Cook of Allen called herself a “DeSantis girl” and said she appreciated his fight against “woke” corporations and his handling of COVID-19 in Florida, including his stance against vaccine mandates.

“I loved Trump’s policies,” said Cook, 53. “But DeSantis is less abrasive, and his personality is less divisive.”

Her husband, Kenneth Cook, said he would prefer Trump, but admitted DeSantis has less political baggage.

“I like what [Trump] did when he was in office, but the problem is it’s almost too easy for the Democrats to serve him up on a platter again,” he said. “I think DeSantis would be more likely to get across the finish line easier.”

Dale Delatte, a 65-year-old from Dallas, agreed: “The hate for Trump is so deep that maybe it wouldn’t be a good thing if he ran. But then maybe if DeSantis ran, they would just pretend it’s Trump and hate him as much they hated Trump.”

DeSantis has avoided questions about his 2024 aspirations, but he has also subtly set himself apart from Trump. Earlier this year, DeSantis said he regretted not speaking out “much louder” against Trump’s recommendation that people stay home in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s also avoided asking for Trump’s endorsement for his reelection campaign this year, according to Politico.

In the exhibit hall of the Hilton Anatole, CPAC vendors hawked DeSantis gear alongside Trump gear. One group set up two banners, one featuring Trump, one DeSantis.

“America needs a new generation of leaders,” the DeSantis banner said.

The majority of CPAC attendees, though, said DeSantis needs to wait his turn.

“Nobody wants to see Trump and DeSantis making each other look bad,” said Josh Caesar, a 56-year-old from McKinney. “I know some people are tired of Trump and want new blood, but realistically, Donald Trump owns the party. If he runs, nobody’s going to stand in the way, and DeSantis surely will not if he knows what’s good for his career.”

Kenneth Argo of Dallas said he “loved DeSantis,” but added that DeSantis even toying with the idea of a 2024 run is disloyal to Trump.

“It would be suicide,” said Argo, 70. “I would be very upset with DeSantis and it would cause me to be a no vote for him in a future election.”

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The two Texas Republicans with presidential aspirations, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott, fared poorly in the CPAC straw poll. Cruz got 2% of the vote, while both Abbott and Rep. Liz Cheney didn’t register beyond 0%. Former Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump and his base heavily criticized for certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory on Jan. 6, scored higher than Abbott.

©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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