Epstein accuser sues as questions swirl about his death | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Epstein accuser sues as questions swirl about his death

Associated Press
1538683_web1_1538683-01d45ad7ccf44c979f13465d9e5a8306
New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP
This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein has died by suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, says person briefed on the matter, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019.
1538683_web1_1538683-76c74f7d74054c069e9e883973219081
Palm Beach Post
In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla. Epstein has died by suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, says person briefed on the matter, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019.
1538683_web1_1538683-0dc416224db24c63916c813216825ca2
The Advocate via AP
United States Attorney General William Barr, waves to the crowd, after addressing the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police’s 64th National Biennial Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Convention Blvd. in New Orleans, La. Monday, Aug. 12, 2019.
1538683_web1_1538683-2413afa9c2844ebbba20eb1ed13bbcb5
AP
An employee checks a visitor outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019 in New York.

NEW YORK — Jail guards on duty the night Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates every half-hour as required, according to a person familiar with the investigation into his death.

Surveillance video shows guards never made some of the checks noted in the log, said the person, who was not authorized to disclose information about the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

Those details came amid new developments Wednesday in the fight over Epstein’s estate, as a woman filed a lawsuit claiming she was forcibly raped by Epstein when she was a teenager in 2002.

Jennifer Araoz sued Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and three unnamed members of his staff— the first of many lawsuits expected to be filed by Epstein’s accusers as a new state law went into effect Wednesday.

“Today is my first step toward reclaiming my power Jeffrey Epstein and his enablers stole from me,” Araoz told reporters. “My resolve to pursue justice has only strengthened.”

The AP only names alleged sexual assault victims if they consent to being identified, as Araoz has done.

The lawsuit blames Maxwell for helping Epstein recruit underage girls and alleges she provided “organizational support to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.”

Maxwell’s publicist and lawyers didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment. She has previously denied wrongdoing.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan, meanwhile, are investigating whether any co-conspirators of Epstein will face criminal charges.

The 66-year-old financier was awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges prior to his suicide.

Epstein is believed to have killed himself early Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. An autopsy has been performed, but the cause of his death has not been announced.

His death prompted the Justice Department to place two guards on leave and remove the jail’s warden pending the outcome of investigations by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general. Falsifying log entries can be a federal crime.

The case has thrown a spotlight on chronic understaffing at the jail, which has long been used to house some of the world’s most notorious criminals, including mobsters, drug lords and terrorists.

A person familiar with the jail’s operations told the AP that a guard in Epstein’s unit was working a fifth straight day of overtime and another guard was working mandatory overtime the day he was found. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he lacked authorization to publicly discuss jail operations.

Last month, Epstein had been put on suicide watch, with 24-hour monitoring and daily psychiatric evaluations, after he was found on the floor of his cell with bruises on his neck. But he was taken off suicide watch at the end of July and returned to the jail’s special housing unit, for inmates requiring close supervision.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.