Epstein jail death: One of people watching disgraced financier not a proper prison guard, says report – The Independent
As attorney general William Barr condemned “serious irregularities” at the jail where he was being held on bail, and the world waited news of details of an autopsy amid huge speculation and frenzied conspiracy theories, it emerged the 66-year-old disgraced financier had not been checked for several hours before he was found dead in his cell.
Epstein, who was last month arrested and accused of orchestrating a sex trafficking network involving girls as young as 14, had not been on suicide watch at the time of his death.
Regulations did call for him to be checked every 30 minutes, however. These rules were put into place after the man who was once a friend of multiple powerful men and celebrities, was was last month found unconscious on the floor of his cell with marks on his neck, an episode officials were investigating as possible suicide attempt or assault.
The New York Times said only one of the two people who were monitoring Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York City, was a “fully-fledged correctional officer”.
“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” said Mr Barr, who ordered two separate investigations into what happened.
“We will get to the bottom of what happened. There will be accountability.”
Speaking at a national policing conference in New Orleans on Monday morning, Mr Barr insisted that despite Epstein being found dead a day after new details were unsealed of the allegations against him, investigators would continue to probe the backdrop of those claims. Many of the numerous women to have accused Epstein of abuse, accusations he had most recently denied, had voiced regret they would now not get justice.
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” said Mr Barr. “ Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”
The New York City medical examiner said an autopsy had been completed on Epstein on Sunday, but that a determination on the cause of his death was still pending.
In the hours after the financier’s death on Saturday morning, Donald Trump, who was once one of Epstein’s friends or associate and in 2002 told a journalist he was “a terrific guy”, retweeted a conspiracy theory posted by a conservative comedian suggesting – without merit – Bill Clinton and his family were behind the prison death.
Epstein was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14, from at least 2002 to 2005.
Additional reporting by Reuters