Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims react to news of his death in prison

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims react to news of his death in prison

Attorney General William Barr, calling for an investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department's inspector general's office, said he was "appalled" to learn of Epstein's death while in federal custody.

Epstein had been denied bail and faced up to 45 years behind bars on federal sex-trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed last month.

There is also reportedly no surveillance video of Epstein's death.

New York City's chief medical examiner, Dr Barbara Sampson, said that more information is needed before the cause of death is determined.

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

As authorities were conducting Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy in New York City, The Associated Press reported that just two guards - one working a fifth day of overtime and another working mandatory overtime - were on duty at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on the morning of the U.S. financier's apparent suicide.

One of the corrections officers was reportedly on his fifth straight day of overtime shifts, while another guard had been forced to work overtime, Serene Gregg, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3148, told the Washington Post.

"If it wasn't Mr. Epstein, it would have been somebody else, because of the conditions at that institution".

"It wasn't a matter of how it happened or it happening, but it was only a matter of time for it to happen. It was inevitable. Our staff is severely overworked".

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Another accuser, Jennifer Araoz, who came forward after the new charges were filed, said she was angered by Epstein's suicide.

The guards failed to follow several protocols leading up to Epstein's death, according to the New York Times.

Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska and chair of the Senate judiciary oversight committee who had asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the handling of the Epstein case.

What happens to the case against him?

In a court filing on Monday, two unnamed accusers of Epstein urged a federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, to scrap portions of Epstein's 2008 non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors there that provided immunity to his alleged co-conspirators from criminal charges.

Without Epstein to stand trial, legal experts told BBC's United States affiliate CBS News that federal prosecutors will likely dismiss the criminal case against Epstein.

The death may be a relief for many powerful people around the world, who allegedly partook in Epstein's sexual predation dating back to at least 2002.

On Friday, more than 2,000 pages of documents were released related to a since-settled defamation lawsuit against Mr Epstein's ex-girlfriend by Ms Giuffre.

Barr weighed in on the weekend incident at a news conference in New Orleans, saying that initial discoveries made by investigators probing into the apparent suicide of Epstein found the jail is partially responsible for the incident.

Giuffre, in an interview with The New York Times, said she's grateful Epstein will never harm anyone again, but is angry that there would be no chance to see him answer for his conduct.

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