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Posted: August 10, 2019
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Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, awaiting sex trafficking charges, dead of apparent suicide










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NEW YORK — Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier who was being held in a Manhattan jail awaiting federal sex trafficking charges, died early Saturday from an apparent suicide.

Although details surrounding his death were still emerging, ABC News, which broke the story, and The New York Times quoted unidentified officials as saying that Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan cell.

The Times, which said Epstein hanged himself, quoted officials as saying his body was found at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

CNN and NBC News reported that Epstein was found in cardiac arrest early Saturday and taken to a hospital where he died.

Officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center did not immediately respond to inquiries seeking comment on the reported suicide.

The New York Fire Department, without naming the individual, confirmed that it received a call at 6:39 a.m. about a person in cardiac arrest at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The individual was transported to a New York hospital shortly.

It was not immediately clear how Epstein could have killed himself since he was under suicide watch after being found unconscious three week ago in his cell in Metropolitan Correctional Center. He had suffered injuries to his neck in what appeared to be a suicide attempt or jailhouse assault.

Epstein, 66, an investment banker banker who counted among his powerful connections Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, had pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking and allegedly sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida.

He was convicted in 2008 on Florida charges of soliciting and procuring a person under 18 for prostitution.

He avoided what could have been a lengthy prison sentence under a plea deal with then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta. The deal drew intense scrutiny and led Acosta to resign as President Donald Trump's labor secretary.

Epstein's death came within 24 hours after long-sealed documents in a defamation case were released by a federal court.

The documents included depositions of years of alleged sex acts involving underage girls. The material, released as a result of petitions by the Miami Herald and other news media, included sordid allegations involving prominent individuals.

The documents included police reports, flight logs and even a purported memoir by a woman who says she was a victim of Epstein's when she was teenager.

The indictment claims Epstein "incentivized his victims" by paying them hundreds of dollars for each additional girl they recruited. Encounters with his victims would begin with a "massage" before Epstein would “escalate the nature and scope of physical contact with his victim,” the indictment says.

Epstein was arrested by federal agents in July at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after his private jet landed  from Paris.

The indictment claims Epstein "incentivized his victims" by paying them hundreds of dollars for each additional girl they recruited. Encounters with his victims would begin with a "massage" before Epstein would “escalate the nature and scope of physical contact with his victim,” the indictment says.

It says unnamed employees of Epstein aided in scheduling the girls.

Contributing: Joey Garrison

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