Just a month after being charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, financier Jeffrey Epstein died of an “apparent suicide” in his cell. He was 66.
Epstein, well-known for socializing with the country’s top political elite, was convicted for sex crimes in 2008 and served just 13 months of jail time with work release. After incriminating reporting by the Miami Herald interviewing Epstein’s victims and detailing the plea deal, he was arrested on July 6 and charged two days later by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York.
He was denied bail, with the judge saying he posed a serious flight risk as well as a danger to the public.
“Earlier this morning, the Manhattan Correctional Center confirmed that Jeffrey Epstein, who faced charges brought by this Office of engaging in the sex trafficking of minors, had been found unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter of an apparent suicide,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’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,” he added.
Berman said that his office continues “to urge anyone who feels they may be a victim or have information related to the conduct in this case to please contact 1-800- CALL FBI.”
Epstein was reportedly housed in the Special Housing Unit (SHU), separately from other prisoners, and was not on suicide watch despite being found in his cell three weeks ago with injuries that may have been indicative of a suicide attempt.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”