Jail guards charged over Epstein death
TWO corrections officers tasked with guarding Jeffrey Epstein at the time of his suicide have been arrested and charged, sources said on Tuesday.
According to the New York Post, the two officers have been charged with falsifying prison records at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Epstein died on Aug. 10 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
Both guards were working overtime at the time of the financier's death and allegedly failed to check on Epstein every half-hour as they were required to do. The charges stem from the duo falsifying forms to claim they'd carried out the required check-ins.
They appeared in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, local time.
According to CNN, the indictment said guards Tova Noel and Michael Thomas repeatedly failed to complete counts of prisoners on their watch in the specialised housing unit where epstein was being held.
Instead, they sat at their desks, browsed the internet, and moved around the common area.
The night Epstein died no officers completed any round in the unit between 10:30pm and 6:30am the following day, at which time theur discovered Epstein's body, the indictment says.
While the city medical examiner ruled the paedophile's death a suicide, a forensic pathologist hired by his brother Mark Epstein has said his autopsy was more consistent with homicidal strangulation.
The 66-year-old multi-millionaire was placed on suicide watch after he was found with marks on his neck on July 23 but was removed from the monitoring a week before his death.
Federal prosecutors offered the corrections officers plea deals, the Associated Press previously reported, but the officers turned them down.
The warden of the MCC, Lamine N'Diaye, was also reassigned in the wake of Epstein's death, pending an investigation.
'JANE DOE' ALLEGES RAPE AT 15, URGES ANDREW TO TESTIFY
A woman says in a new Manhattan lawsuit that she was just 15 years old when Jeffrey Epstein raped her - and added at an emotional press conference on Monday that it's ludicrous to think that those around him were unaware of his sick deeds.
The unidentified 31-year-old woman did not mention Prince Andrew by name as she spoke about Epstein's pals' alleged duplicity.
But the royal has been battered by a firestorm of criticism over his longtime friendship with the multi-millionaire, including during the years the paedophile was abusing young girls, and has been accused himself of having sex with one of Epstein's underage "slaves."
"Jeffrey Epstein was only a small part of an insidious system of privilege that exploits children as sexual commodities and robs them of their youth," the woman said, accompanied by her lawyer, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, in California.
"It was clear from the time I spent with Epstein that something was very wrong with his lifestyle, and it didn't take a victim to see that. We were not hidden," the woman said. "It is upsetting to me that anyone who is closely associated with Jeffrey Epstein didn't suspect that he might be sexually abusing children."
Wearing a bracelet that spelled out 'Epstein didn't kill himself', the woman said one of Epstein's assistants did contact her at one point to ask her to fly to his property in the Virgin Islands - "where I was told Andrew, among others, would be a guest" - but that she declined "out of fear" after the financier and a female assistant had separately sexually assaulted her.
The woman also joined the growing chorus of public figures on Monday urging Prince Andrew to talk to the FBI under oath about what he knew about Epstein.
"Prince Andrew and any others who were close to Epstein should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have," the woman said. "Just because Epstein is dead doesn't mean that others around him don't deserve their day in court."
This article first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.