Federal authorities have issued subpoenas to as many as 20 correctional officers employed at the Manhattan jail where billionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein killed himself earlier this month, according to reports Thursday.
New York’s chief medical examiner has ruled that Epstein, 66, died by suicide on August 10, hanging himself alone in his jail cell just a day after court documents were unsealed detailing allegations he’d operated a sex-trafficking ring that abused underage girls as young as 14. After apparently attempting suicide a few weeks earlier, on July 23, he’d been put on suicide watch for a time, but the watch was later ended for unknown reasons.
Outrage that an accused criminal as high-profile as Epstein was allowed to hang himself before going to trial has sparked the Justice Department to open investigations into the circumstances of his death.
The guards in charge of watching Epstein have been accused of falsifying log entries to read that they checked on the late financier every 30 minutes as required when in fact they had let hours go by without doing so. Investigators are reportedly still attempting to get a clearer picture of how the incident occurred.