Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, dies in prison… Was it suicide?

PHOTO:U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in N.Y., July 8, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced millionaire who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, died by suicide early Saturday, law enforcement sources and the Bureau of Prisons confirmed to ABC News.

Epstein hanged himself, the sources said.

He was found unresponsive in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan around 6:30 a.m., the Bureau of Prisons said. He was transported in cardiac arrest at 6:39 a.m. to New York Downtown Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to sources.

Epstein, 66, was set to stand trial next year for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of girls in New York and Florida.

His death came less than three weeks after he was found unresponsive in his cell at the federal prison in Lower Manhattan, with marks on his neck that appeared to be self-inflicted, sources told ABC News. He was placed on suicide watch following the July 23 incident, but was not on suicide watch at the time of his death.

The FBI is investigating the incident, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Epstein was arrested in July for alleged sex trafficking of girls at his Upper East Side mansion and his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Some of the charges date back to the early 2000s.

Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Following news of his death, his alleged victims condemned his apparent suicide and what they described as a lack of justice for them and other accusers.

“I am extremely mad and hurt thinking he once again thought he was above us and took the easy way out … I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that’s really true,” Jena-Lisa Jones, 30, an alleged victim of Epstein when she was 14 in Florida, said in a statement. “God will have his judgement now.”

Jennifer Araoz, 32, who claimed that Epstein raped her when she was 15, called on authorities to “pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers.

“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” Araoz said.

Michelle Licata, an alleged Florida victim of Epstein when she was 16, said she didn’t want anyone to die.

“I just wanted him to be held accountable for his actions. Simple as that,” she said.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement that the investigation of Epstein’s alleged conduct remains ongoing. Berman noted that the indictment against Epstein included a “conspiracy count,” indicating the possibility that others could be charged.


Epstein’s body was taken to the city morgue and an autopsy will be conducted as soon as Sunday, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE ON ABC NEWS



Comments

comments