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Thursday, December 9, 2021

R Kelly ‘on suicide watch’ after being convicted of sex trafficking charges

R Kelly handcuffed
R. Kelly

R Kelly was on suicide watch following his conviction for sex trafficking charges in New York according to his lawyer.

The R&B singer, 54, was put on suicide watch three weeks ago according to his attorney Steve Greenburg, but is no longer thought to be at risk.

Greenburg had made the claims at a court hearing in Chicago, the first to take place since he was found guilty of nine different sex crimes last month, though the attorney did not confirm or deny whether Kelly had actually expressed a desire to harm himself.

Kelly is facing life in prison after being found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering and is set to be sentenced on May 4, 2022.

Following a six-week trial, Kelly had been found guilty of nine counts, including eight counts of violating the Mann Act, a law to curb sex trafficking that bars transporting people across state lines ‘for any immoral purpose’, including child sexual exploitation, production of child pornography, obstruction of justice, kidnapping and forced labour; and one count of racketeering, a charge that is used when a group organises an illegal and fraudulent scheme to collect money or other profit.

One of his lawyers, Deveraux L. Cannick, signalled they would be appealing the verdict, and accused the case of being ‘replete with inconsistencies’.

R KElly in court
The R&B singer is facing life in prison (Picture: Antonio Perez/AFP via Getty Images)

Cannick said: “Of course we are disappointed in the verdict. I am even more disappointed in the prosecution for bringing this case.”

The trial was based on allegations from six women, five of whom testified; the sixth, singer Aaliyah, who Kelly married when she was 15 years old, died in a plane crash in 2001.

The singer is currently awaiting a further trial in Chicago where he is accused of another 13 sex crimes, including producing child pornography as well as conspiring to intimidate victims and conceal evidence, but has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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