Justice Department Reassigns Warden Of Prison Where Jeffrey Epstein Died
Aug 14 2019
On Tuesday, Barr "directed the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily assign" warden Lamine N'Diaye to a regional office, pending the outcome of internal investigations into Epstein's death, the Justice Department said in a statement.
The two guards placed on administrative leave by the Bureau of Prisons had been assigned to Epstein's unit at the Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC), Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement. Epstein was a convicted sexual predator who was set to go on trial for a large-scale sex trafficking case.
At the time of his death, he was being held without bail and faced up to 45 years in prison on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed last month.
At MCC, two jail guards are required to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed on the night of Epstein's death, according to an official who was not authorized to speak on the matter.
Epstein was reportedly placed on suicidewatch after being found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck, an incident that officials were investigating as a possible suicide or assault.
On Sat., Aug. 10, billionaire political financier Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in his jail cell.
Epstein was accused in early July of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s.
Epstein's death, the result of an apparent suicide, shows "deficiencies in inmate protocol and has allowed the deceased to ultimately evade facing justice", wroteHouse Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., in a letter to BOP. According to media reports, Epstein had been taken off suicide watch.
Despite Barr's assurances, the death of Epstein, who evaded severe punishment for more than a decade thanks to lenient treatment by law enforcement, could mean that molestation victims who had finally been promised their day in court by federal prosecutors won't get one after all. Ben Sasse (R-NE) is urging the Department of Justice to rip up the plea deal agreed to between Epstein and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Epstein's death also affects civil litigation. "He's doing a full investigation", Trump told reporters. The prison has been pressing non-custodial staff into working as correctional officers because staffing levels are less than 70 percent of what they should be, union officials said.
Epstein had indeed received a cellmate, but that individual was transferred on Friday, one day prior to his death, for reasons that are still being explored by investigators.
Mr Epstein was already a registered sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.
We should wait for answers on how Epstein's life ended.
A New York Times investigation published a year ago detailed this practice, under which federal prisons are so strapped for correctional officers that they regularly compel teachers, nurses, secretaries, and other support staff members to step in. A private pathologist, Michael Baden, who previously served as the city's chief medical examiner, observed the examination at the request of representatives of Epstein, which is routine practice, Sampson said. Epstein had pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.