Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was facing multiple charges of sex trafficking—by more than 30 women—and abuse of minor girls when he was found dead in his New York prison cell on August 10.
He was likely to expose several high profile individuals in the court hearings for the charges against him but his untimely death put a halt to these hearings. Now, following his death (which a New York coroner ruled a suicide), the Associated Press reports prosecutors are dropping all charges against Epstein.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman will hear from Epstein’s lawyers and his accusers on Tuesday.
From the report:
The judge set the hearing after prosecutors asked that he scrap charges against Epstein since the defendant is dead. Berman said he would give prosecutors, Epstein lawyers and any victims a chance to speak.
Since the hearing was scheduled, it was revealed that Epstein signed a will just two days before his suicide putting over $577 million in assets into a trust fund. The will, filed in the Virgin Islands where Epstein maintained a residence, was expected to make it more difficult for dozens of accusers to collect damages.
Epstein had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges and was held without bail, accused of sexually abusing women in the early 2000s at mansions in Manhattan and Florida.
Shortly after Epstein’s death, Attorney General William Barr said he was bothered by the miscarriage of justice and ordered the Justice Department to follow up and pursue Epstein’s charges.
Barr also said he would be looking and pursuing any co-conspirators amid allegations that other high profile individuals would accompany Epstein on his private island for sexual orgies.
The attorney general is also looking into “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center surrounding Epstein’s death.
Here’s more, from the Associated Press:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
At the time of his death, Epstein was preparing though his lawyers to argue in court papers due in September that he could not be prosecuted because he signed a no-prosecution deal with prosecutors a dozen years ago in Florida. Prosecutors in New York said that deal did not prevent the new charges. Epstein signed it before he pleaded guilty to Florida state charges in 2008, admitting sexual relations with teenage girls under the age of consent.
The suicide happened despite a warning in late July when Epstein was found on the floor of his cell with bruises to his neck. After Epstein died, Berman asked the jail’s warden for answers about that episode, saying it had never been “definitively explained.”
Epstein spent a few days under suicide watch but then was transferred back to a cell in a Special Housing Unit where he had a cellmate. Eventually, though, the cellmate was taken out and he was left alone.