MANHATTAN (CN) - A New York City medical examiner ruled Jeffrey Epstein's prison cell death a suicide Friday, saying her autopsy showed that the millionaire sex offender hanged himself.
The report comes six days after Epstein, 66, was found dead at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on child sex-trafficking charges.
Epstein had apparently attempted suicide last month and was briefly placed on suicide watch, but then taken off that list at the end of July. He was arrested July 6.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan was understaffed and guards were working overtime at the time of Epstein’s death and falsifying log entries that showed how often they checked on prisoners, according to the Associated Press. The FBI and the Justice Department’s Inspector General are both investigating.
After Epstein’s death, conspiracy theories ricocheted across the Internet, including one shared by President Donald Trump, who retweeted an unfounded post that suggested Bill and Hillary Clinton were responsible. The medical examiner’s report Friday puts these conspiracy theories to rest -- Epstein was not murdered.
He was facing federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy involving underage girls. His death came one day after a trove of documents was unsealed that named President Trump, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and other powerful people as having had interactions with Epstein.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said after Epstein’s death that the conspiracy investigation would continue, even though criminal cases end after the death of the defendant.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr emphasized that Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring was still under investigation.
“Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,” Barr said. “The victims deserve justice, and we will ensure they get it.”
Within days of Epstein’s death, French authorities announced plans to open a probe, and the Daily Mail and ABC News aired live video of the FBI raiding a private island that Epstein owned in the Caribbean. One resident of nearby St. Thomas told the Associated Press that Epstein’s property Little St. James had earned the reputation as “Pedophile Island.”
Meanwhile in Florida, a federal judge is expected to punish the government for entering into a 2008 non-prosecution agreement on similar charges, widely denounced as a “sweetheart deal” that guaranteed Epstein a light sentence while immunizing unnamed co-conspirators.
Wednesday was the first day of the New York Child Victims Act’s one-year revival window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse whose statutes of limitations have expired. The first suit filed was by an Epstein accuser, Jennifer Araoz, who sued Epstein’s estate, his alleged pseudo-madam Ghislaine Maxwell, and unnamed conspirators.
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