Wed | Aug 21, 2019

AG says ‘irregularities’ found at jail where Epstein died

Published:Monday | August 12, 2019 | 2:55 PM
This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Attorney General William Barr said Monday that there were “serious irregularities” at the federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein took his own life as he awaited trial on charges he sexually abused underage girls.

The 66-year-old financier was found Saturday morning in his cell at the chronically short-staffed Metropolitan Correctional Center, in a unit known for holding notorious prisoners under extremely tight security.

“I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Barr said at a police conference in New Orleans.

“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation. The FBI and the office of inspector general are doing just that.”

He added: “We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”

The manner in which Epstein killed himself has not been announced.

An autopsy was performed Sunday, but New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr Barbara Sampson said investigators were awaiting further information.

A private pathologist, Dr Michael Baden, observed the autopsy at the request of Epstein’s lawyers.

Baden was the city’s chief medical examiner in the late 1970s and has been called as an expert witness in high-profile cases, including O.J. Simpson’s 1994 murder trial.

Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found in his cell a little over two weeks ago with bruises on his neck, a person familiar with the jail’s operations told The Associated Press.

But he had been taken off the suicide watch at the end of July, said the person, who wasn’t authorised to discuss jail operations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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