Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy investor facing charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls, may have either attempted to commit suicide or was assaulted in jail, a late Wednesday evening report states.
According to NBC New York, citing sources familiar with the matter, an injured Epstein was discovered in the fetal position inside his jail cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. He was found “semi-conscious with marks on his neck,” reports NBC New York. Two sources told the news outlet that Epstein may have attempted to take his own life by hanging. Another source said the hedge fund manager’s injuries were not serious and suggested the hedge fund manager may use them as a means to receive a transfer.
NBC New York further reports:
Investigators are trying to piece together what happened, and have spoken to an accused killer who one source says may have attacked Epstein.
However, the fourth source says an assault has not been ruled out, and that another inmate has been questioned. The inmate who investigators have talked to in Lower Manhattan facility has been identified as Nicholas Tartaglione, according to a source. Tartaglione is a former Orange County police officer who was arrested in December 2016 and accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy, then burying their bodies in his yard in Otisville, according to court records.
Sources told News 4 investigators tried to question Tartaglione about whether he had any contact with Epstein before he was found on the ground. The former cop claimed not to have seen anything and didn’t touch Epstein, sources said.
Following the alleged incident, Epstein was placed on suicide watch.
The development comes after a federal judge on Thursday denied Epstein’s bail application, a ruling handed down after prosecutors argued he is a danger to the public and could flee the United States
“I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community,” U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said at the time.
The defense had argued he should be allowed to await trial under house arrest with electronic monitoring at his $77 million Manhattan mansion. They said he wouldn’t run and was willing to pledge a fortune of at least $559 million as collateral.
The decision means Epstein will remain behind bars while he fights charges that he exploited dozens of girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors have argued Epstein was at risk of trying to influence witnesses after it was discovered he had paid a total of $350,000 to two people, including a former employee, in the last year. That came after the Miami Herald reported the circumstances of his state court conviction in 2008, which led to a 13-month jail term and a plea deal that allowed him to avoid a federal prosecution.
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned earlier this month after coming under renewed criticism for overseeing the decade-old arrangement as U.S. attorney in Miami. Lawyers for Epstein said their client has stayed clean since pleading guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution charges in Florida in 2008 and that the federal government is reneging on the plea deal.
As Breitbart News’s Kyle Morris reported, the politically-connected Epstein contributed thousands of dollars to high-profile Democrats for years. The wealthy investor cut seven $1,000 checks to Minority Senate Leader Chuck Schumer between 1992 and 1997. Epstein donated $10,000 to the Victory in New York, a fundraising committee launched by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1998. In the same year, he gave $5,000 to the Schumer-linked committee Win New York. Other notable lawmakers who received funds from Epstein include Obama-era Secretary of State John Kerry, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and former Secretary of Agriculture and Rep. Dan Glickman (D-KS).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.