R&B singer R. Kelly has been placed on suicide watch following his conviction for sex trafficking charges in New York. The 54-year old singer’s attorney Steve Greenburg revealed this at the first court hearing since a jury found Kelly guilty three weeks ago. Greenburg told a federal judge in Chicago Chicago that R. Kelly had been put on suicide watch but failed to confirm if he had expressed a desire to self-harm.
This court hearing was the first to take place since the singer was found guilty of nine different sex crimes last month.
Kelly was found guilty by the jury 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.
Deveraux L. Cannick, one of Kelly’s lawyers, revealed that the verdict would be appealed, accusing the case of being ‘replete with inconsistencies’.
Cannick said, “Of course, we are disappointed in the verdict. I am even more disappointed in the prosecution for bringing this case.”
R. Kelly faces life imprisonment after being found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering and is set to be sentenced on May 4, 2022.
The trial was based on allegations by six women, of which five testified. The sixth victim was singer Aliyah, who Kelly married when she was 15 years old and died in a plane crash in 2001.
R. Kelly is currently awaiting another trial in Chicago where he is accused of 13 sex crimes, including producing child pornography and conspiring to intimidate victims and conceal evidence, but has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
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