- Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday morning.
- The convicted sex offender and former financier was pronounced dead at the hospital.
- He was put on suicide watch in July, and was awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
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In a press release, the US Department of Justice said Epstein was “found unresponsive” in his cell “from an apparent suicide” at 6:30 a.m. and that staff started life-saving procedures “immediately.” He was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead there.
In late July, Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell after what appeared to be a suicide attempt. He was hospitalized, then returned to his cell, where he was set to be monitored on suicide watch. He was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple sources told NBC News.
Authorities said the FBI was investigating the apparent suicide, the Associated Press reported.
Epstein was being held without bail at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking.
US District Judge Richard Berman announced in court on July 18 that he decided against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein’s bail request, saying Epstein posed a flight risk as well as a public safety risk, and that there was a potential risk of obstruction of justice.
In his decision, Berman said that Epstein was a danger to himself and others and therefore should not be released. “I find that the government has established danger to others and to the community by clear and convincing evidence,” he said, noting that “I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community.”
What he was in jail for
Epstein’s July 6 arrest was based on new charges that alleged Epstein ran a sex-trafficking ring involving girls as young as 14, systematically molesting dozens of underage girls by paying them for “massages” that rapidly devolved into sexual abuse.
The financier previously fielded allegations of sexual assault for years while keeping a shroud of mystery over his business ventures and high-profile network of friends.
Since the arrest, unsealed documents related to the investigation into charges alleging Epstein’s revealed how the financier’s network of employees facilitated his alleged sex trafficking and his close ties to high-profile figures in politics, business, and British royalty.
He was first investigated by the Palm Beach Police Department in 2005. In 2007, he cut a secret non-prosecution agreement with then-US Attorney Alex Acosta, who resigned as President Donald Trump’s secretary of labour earlier this year.
The deal granted Epstein immunity from federal prosecution, and Epstein pleaded guilty only to two state charges: solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution.
Epstein ultimately served just a 13-month jail sentence but was allowed to leave jail six days a week to work out of his Palm Beach office.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
- Read more:
- The life of Jeffrey Epstein
- Jeffrey Epstein died by apparent suicide in jail. Here’s how the prison system makes that possible.
- Jeffrey Epstein’s main accuser described the lavish lifestyle he gave to his alleged victims to keep them by his side
- Jeffrey Epstein ordered books on Amazon about how to use sex slaves, court documents allege
- The famous connections of Jeffrey Epstein