R. Kelly Reportedly Placed On Suicide Watch Following Sex Trafficking Conviction
The U.S. Attorney in Illinois is still set to prosecute the R&B singer.
Robert “R” Kelly’s legal woes are far from over. After being convicted of racketeering-related federal crimes in New York, the Grammy-winning musician must face another federal jury for child pornography charges in Chicago.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the sex trafficking conviction in New York led to U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials placing R. Kelly on suicide watch. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, confirmed the monitoring process has since been lifted.
In addition, Steve Greenberg insisted he had no knowledge of R. Kelly threatening to harm himself while being incarcerated. The decision to oversee Kelly for potential fatal self-injuries could have been a routine act by the prison.
Prosecutors named R. Kelly the head of a criminal organization. A Brooklyn jury found him guilty of racketeering predicated on criminal conduct including sexual exploitation of children, forced labor, and Mann Act violations involving the coercion and transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity.
“A predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage teenage girls, and young women and men, for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation, and degradation. To the victims in this case, your voices were heard, and justice was finally served,” stated Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
R. Kelly Still Has To Stand Trial For Child Pornography
In 2019, law enforcement arrested R. Kelly on federal child pornography and obstruction charges. That Illinois-based federal indictment accused Kelly of engaging in sex acts with five minors and recording some of the abuse.
“This indictment demonstrates our office’s commitment to holding individuals such as Kelly accountable for criminal sexual abuse of minors, protecting the victims of such crimes, and punishing those who obstruct law enforcement investigations,” said John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years. Conspiracy to obstruct justice is punishable by up to five years in prison.
R. Kelly pled not guilty in the federal child pornography/obstruction of justice case. The self-described “Pied Piper of R&B” was acquitted in a 2008 state child pornography trial in Illinois after the alleged victim declined to testify for the prosecution.
The racketeering and sex trafficking guilty verdicts in New York come with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life imprisonment. R. Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced in May 2022. His legal team is expected to appeal the convictions.