Federal prosecutors said in a statement Saturday, Aug. 10 that their criminal investigation into sex trafficking and conspiracy accusations against financier Jeffrey Epstein is still ongoing.
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman described in his statement that Epstein’s death was “disturbing” while acknowledging that his death would present “another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court.”
“Earlier this morning, the Manhattan Correctional Center confirmed that Jeffrey Epstein, who faced charges brought by this Office of engaging in the sex trafficking of minors, had been found unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter of an apparent suicide,” Berman said in the statement.
“Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court. To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment–which included a conspiracy count–remains ongoing,” he added.
STATEMENT OF MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY ON THE DEATH OF DEFENDANT JEFFREY EPSTEINhttps://t.co/uCLv8aAPaZ pic.twitter.com/aQnRn3kjEH
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) August 10, 2019
Earlier Saturday, the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City at 6:30 a.m.
“Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff. Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued. Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff,” the bureau said, adding that the FBI is investigating the matter.
Epstein, 66, was recently denied bail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Authorities said he sexually abused and exploited dozens of girls, some of them as young as 14.
Thousands of documents relating to his alleged wrongdoing were unsealed on Friday, Aug. 9.
Epstein was previously found injured in his cell on July 24. Authorities reportedly placed him on suicide watch following a medical examination. But Bureau of Prisons protocol (pdf) says that inmates should be removed from the Special Housing Unit if they exhibit “significant potential for suicide” and “placed on suicide watch.”
Attorney General William Barr also released a statement following the news of the financier’s death. He said he was “appalled” to learn about the death while saying the inspector general will be launching an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
NEW: AG Barr statement on #Epstein pic.twitter.com/hWeOiJpb0w
— Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) August 10, 2019
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said.
Following Epstein’s arrest on July 6, Christine Pelosi—daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—warned on Twitter that it was “quite likely” that high-profile figures in U.S. politics could be implicated in the Epstein case.
“This Epstein case is horrific and the young women deserve justice. It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may—whether on Republicans or Democrats.”
While it remains unclear who exactly Pelosi was referring to, Epstein is known to have ties to many high profile figures, including the United Kingdom’s Prince Andrew and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.