Jeffrey Epstein has died whereas awaiting trial on costs that he sex-trafficked underage women, in what the US Division of Justice referred to as “an obvious suicide”.
The multimillionaire financier was being held on the Metropolitan Correctional Middle in decrease Manhattan after his arrest in July and was discovered unresponsive in his cell early on Saturday morning.
William Barr, the attorney-general, mentioned he was “appalled” to study of Epstein’s loss of life in federal custody. “Mr Epstein’s loss of life raises critical questions that have to be answered,” he mentioned in a press release.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DOJ’s inspector-general are investigating Epstein’s loss of life, Mr Barr mentioned.
Epstein was being held within the MCC’s Particular Housing Unit, a safe space separate from the remainder of the jail that’s designed to maintain inmates secure, in keeping with the Bureau of Prisons.
Final month, he had been discovered unconscious in his cell with marks on his neck. An individual conversant in the matter mentioned Epstein had been positioned on suicide watch after that incident however was subsequently taken off.
“At roughly 6:30am, inmate Jeffrey Edward Epstein was discovered unresponsive in his cell within the Particular Housing Unit from an obvious suicide,” the BoP mentioned in a press release.
Pictures revealed by the New York Submit appeared to indicate New York Fireplace Division paramedics wheeling Epstein into hospital on Saturday morning.
A spokesman for the FDNY mentioned it had responded to a 6:39am name reporting a cardiac arrest at MCC. The BoP mentioned Epstein was pronounced lifeless by hospital workers.
Epstein’s attorneys didn’t instantly reply to an e mail in search of remark.
Prosecutors in New York had accused Epstein of trafficking and sexually abusing minors at his mansions in New York and Palm Seashore, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. He pleaded not responsible to the fees at an preliminary listening to on July 8.
The case introduced by the Manhattan US legal professional’s workplace got here greater than a decade after a controversial plea deal in Miami that allowed him to keep away from a federal indictment on the time. In 2008, he pleaded responsible to state prostitution offences.
A spokesman for the US legal professional’s workplace declined to remark. The case was being led by prosecutors from the workplace’s public corruption unit.
Jennifer Araoz, considered one of Epstein’s accusers, mentioned she was “offended Jeffrey Epstein received’t should face survivors of his abuse in court docket”.
“We now have to stay with the scars of his actions for the remainder of our lives, whereas he won’t ever face the results of the crimes he dedicated, the ache and trauma he precipitated so many individuals,” she mentioned in a press release.
The contemporary costs in opposition to Epstein had sparked renewed give attention to the financier’s connections to wealthy and highly effective figures in politics and enterprise, together with Donald Trump, Invoice Clinton, Prince Andrew, Leon Black and Les Wexner.
All have sought to distance themselves from the registered intercourse offender, denying any data of, or involvement in, his crimes and saying they reduce ties with him way back.
Earlier this week, Mr Wexner, the L Manufacturers billionaire whose cash Epstein managed for years till 2007, claimed Epstein had “misappropriated huge sums of cash” from him.
Epstein’s loss of life got here only a day after a federal appeals court docket launched an unlimited trove of data from a 2015 civil lawsuit that offered additional particulars of alleged sexual abuse by Epstein and his associates.
“Jeffrey Epstein didn’t act, and couldn’t have accomplished what he did, alone. Justice calls for that those that acted with him even be held accountable,” mentioned Davis Boies, who represents a number of of Epstein’s victims, in a press release on Saturday.
The failure by jail officers to maintain Epstein alive forward of his trial subsequent yr prompted criticism from lawmakers. Ben Sasse, the Republican senator from Nebraska, mentioned it was “inexcusable” that Epstein was not beneath fixed suicide watch.
“We’d like solutions. Plenty of them,” tweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman from New York.