#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 3°C Friday 4 December 2020
Advertisement

Jeffrey Epstein died from suicide by hanging, coroner concludes

The 66-year-old was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex when he was found dead in his jail cell.

Image: AP/PA Images

AN AUTOPSY ON disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell, has concluded that he died from suicide by hanging, a coroner has said.

The ruling comes six days after the 66-year-old, who was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex, was discovered dead in New York’s high-security Metropolitan Correctional Center.

New York’s chief medical examiner Barbara Sampson said in a statement emailed to AFP that “after careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings” it was determined that Epstein had killed himself.

The report came a day after US media reported that preliminary findings from the post-mortem examination that had found broken bones in Epstein’s neck.

Initial reports based on a Washington Post story indicated that one of the many bones broken in Epstein’s neck showed that he could have died by hanging or strangulation.

A number of experts who have been interviewed since then say that other bones broken in his neck indicate that Epstein died from hanging himself. 

Jeffrey Epstein: background

Epstein, a multi-millionaire who once counted Britain’s Prince Andrew and US President Donald Trump as friends, was charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

According to prosecutors, Epstein sexually exploited dozens of teenagers at his homes in Manhattan and Florida between 2002 and 2005.

He denied the charges but faced up to 45 years in jail if found guilty.

Sexual Misconduct Epstein Source: Mary Altaffer

Epstein’s lawyers said they were “not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner” and would conduct their own investigation into his death, including demanding to see video footage from the jail.

“It is indisputable that the authorities violated their own protocols,” the lawyers said, decrying the “harsh, even medieval conditions” at the facility.

The FBI and Justice Department are investigating how such a high-profile inmate managed to take his own life just weeks after an earlier reported suicide attempt.

The warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein was housed has been temporarily reassigned and two guards put on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The guards were reportedly asleep when they should have been checking on Epstein.

Epstein’s death came a day after a court released documents in which an alleged victim said he used her as a “sex slave” and that she was forced to have sex with well-known politicians and businessmen.

Virginia Giuffre has alleged she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, former US Senator and architect of the Northern Irish peace deal George Mitchell, ex-New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and American celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Lawsuits

They have all strenuously denied the allegations.

Prosecutors have pledged to pursue cases against anyone else involved in Epstein’s alleged crimes and earlier this week FBI agents raided his private island in the Caribbean.

Several women have also come forward seeking damages.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

On Wednesday, Jennifer Araoz filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and three other female accomplices.

Araoz said she was raped by Epstein as a 15-year-old. She said Maxwell, a British socialite and daughter of the late fraudster and media mogul Robert Maxwell, enabled his crimes.

Maxwell’s whereabouts are unknown but she was recently photographed at a restaurant in Los Angeles, according to US reports.

Yesterday, two other women filed a $100 million lawsuit against Epstein’s estate.

They were working as hostesses in a Manhattan restaurant in 2004 when a woman described as a “recruiter” for Epstein approached them, they said.

The recruiter allegedly offered the pair hundreds of dollars each to go to Epstein’s home and give him a massage, assuring them there would be no sexual contact, according to the lawsuit.

Two days later they went to Epstein’s luxurious mansion near Central Park. Once they were in the massage room, the eight-page lawsuit said, Epstein was sexually aggressive towards them before giving them several hundred dollars.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal struck with the then state prosecutor.

If you need to talk, contact for free:

  • Pieta House 1800 247247 or email mary@pieta.ie – (available 24/7)
  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie (available 24/7)
  • Aware 1800 804848 (depression, anxiety)
  • Childline 1800 666666 (for under 18s, available 24/7)
  • National Rape Crisis Helpline 1800 77 88 88 (available 24/7)

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (69)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel