Jeffery Epstein, a financier who was recently indicted on charges of sex trafficking, was found dead this morning in Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. According to authorities, Epstein died by suicide, the New York Times reports. His body was found on Saturday morning.
Epstein, 66, was charged by Manhattan prosecutors last month of sex trafficking and conspiracy. He was found unconscious in his cell with marks around his neck two weeks ago, in what was either a suicide attempt or an attack by a fellow inmate. Epstein was reportedly taken off suicide watch but when was unclear, a source told the Associated Press.
The U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York issued a statement that read, in part: "Today's events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Espstein's many victims their day in court. To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing."
The previous incident happened after Epstein was denied bail and deemed a flight risk by the court. He was not expected to stand trial until late in 2020. Epstein was accused of sex trafficking and abusing dozens of underage girls at his homes in New York City and Palm Beach, FL, for years. He is accused of luring girls, some as young as 14, to his home under the guise of earning money for giving him massages. He was also alleged to have convinced those girls to bring him new girls.
Epstein, a billionaire money manager associated with the likes of President Trump, former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, has long been rumored to have run an illegal sex trafficking ring, even facing official charges once before in 2008. He was however able to reach an extremely lenient plea deal, which led to him only serving 13 months in county jail.
The deal was widely criticized, especially in the wake of a blockbuster investigation by reporter Julie K. Brown in The Miami Herald that exposed thousands of emails, court documents, and FBI records implicating Epstein. Since its publication in November 2018, momentum to find a way to arrest Epstein, this time with new victims and new criminal evidence such as transporting victims across state lines, had been building.
This is a breaking news story, new information will be added as it becomes available.