Two prison workers who allegedly slept through notorious sex predator Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide were arrested and charged with falsifying jail records to cover up their failure to check on the prisoner as he died in his cell.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas face federal charges in connection with the lapse in guarding their high-profile prisoner, according to an indictment filed with Manhattan District Court on Tuesday. They have been arrested and charged with conspiracy and falsifying records. At least one of them was offered a plea deal several days ago but turned it down, according to CNN.
Instead of checking on prisoners, Noel and Thomas spent the night browsing furniture and motorcycles online, napping, and forging multiple rounds’ worth of paperwork, the indictment claims. Neither guard laid eyes on Epstein for eight hours, but when he was discovered dead at around 6:33am, they only admitted to skipping two rounds of prisoner checks.
The dozy guards are the first to be charged with a crime related to Epstein’s mysterious death in his cell at Manhattan Correctional Center, amid an unprecedented amount of camera malfunctions and apparent human incompetence on the morning of August 10.
Tasked with checking on him every 30 minutes, the guards instead reportedly fell asleep for at least three hours, recording false checkups they did not actually perform. One of the “guards” was not actually working in corrections at the time, but had been temporarily reassigned from another position, and both were said to be working overtime, one for five straight days. They were placed on administrative leave a few days after their apparent trickery was discovered.
Following Epstein’s death, Attorney General William Barr demanded a “thorough investigation” of alleged “serious irregularities” at the jail, which previously had a reputation for being “tougher than Guantanamo Bay.” The financier was taken off suicide watch shortly before he died, despite having already been found unresponsive on the floor of his cell once – also by Thomas – and had his cellmate transferred just hours before he was found dead.
While Barr warned that “co-conspirators should not rest easy,” the prosecutor in the case – in which the jet-setter allegedly sexually abused dozens of girls and trafficked them to powerful men, possibly for blackmail purposes – formally closed it less than a month after Epstein’s demise in the absence of a defendant. However, several of his victims are suing his estate.
Epstein’s alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, has not been spotted in months, aside from a few false alarms. While politicians have declared Epstein’s victims “deserve justice,” no one seems willing to do what’s necessary to deliver it to them. The convicted sex offender moved in exclusive circles, hosting boldface names including current and former US presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, Hollywood royalty like Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey, and actual royalty like Britain’s Prince Andrew, at his lavish residences and on his private plane, nicknamed the Lolita Express.
Public interest in the wealthy pedophile’s mysterious demise got a shot in the arm last month, after celebrity pathologist Michael Baden declared on Fox News that Epstein’s injuries likely stemmed from “homicidal strangulation” and Project Veritas released a ‘hot mic’ tape in which an ABC anchor excoriated the network for shelving her interview with one of Epstein’s victims, suggesting ABC execs were implicated in Epstein’s crimes. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has demanded answers from the network about why the story was killed.
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