There was a time not too long ago where, amid all the political and cultural divisions of our age, pretty much all of us could agree that something was really shady about Jeffrey Epstein’s death.
Or at the very least, we could certainly all agree that the man was a monster and his victims sorely deserved long-awaited justice when they were robbed of it by his untimely demise.
This latest story in the ongoing saga of America’s most notorious pedophile financier certainly doesn’t make anything look any less suspicious — or the conditions of his death any less infuriating.
Officially, the notorious billionaire is said to have killed himself with his bedsheet in the Manhattan jail where he was being kept while awaiting trial on charges of child sex trafficking in August 2019.
The New York City medical examiner determined that he took his own life when he hung himself in his cell, which according to prosecutors, was just 15 feet away from where guards Tova Noel and Michael Thomas browsed the internet and napped, both doing heavy overtime amid staffing shortages.
Noel and Thomas both admitted they falsified records to appear as though they had conducted the regular prisoner checks, when they actually had neglected them, before Epstein was found dead, The Associated Press reports.
They will, however, not be doing any time behind bars after reaching a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice according to a letter filed by federal prosecutors in court papers on Friday.
The two will be subject to supervised release and required to complete 100 hours of community service.
Now, you might think that this story in itself is a rather interesting plot twist but boy, my friends, the plot still thickens — prosecutors also said Noel and Thomas will also be required to fully cooperate with an ongoing investigation by the DOJ’s inspector general.
Is this deal too light?
Yes: 91% (272 Votes)
No: 9% (28 Votes)
The AP notes that “Both officers who were guarding Epstein were working overtime because of staffing shortages. One of the guards, who did not primarily work as a correctional officer, was working a fifth straight day of overtime. The other guard was working mandatory overtime, meaning a second eight-hour shift of the day.”
During one two-hour period that night, according to the indictment filed against them, both appeared to be asleep.
Epstein was already alone in his cell despite having been previously placed on suicide watch, as his roommate had been transferred days prior. Yet as the New York Times reported in 2019, officials from the Metropolitan Correctional Center said they’d told the DOJ when he was taken off suicide watch that he “would have a cellmate and that a guard ‘would look into his cell” every 30 minutes.
This was a man with a very high-profile case with dozens of victims who were young, impressionable girls when he took advantage of them and passed them around his wealthy and powerful friends. They have had to live with the memories of his abuse for nearly 30 years in some cases, and were so close to finally seeing their abuser be tried.
While conspiracy theorists might perk up their ears at this new development as it’s just bonkers the people who were tasked with preventing a prisoner from killing themselves got off so easily for trying to cover up their failure to do so, it’s important to bear in mind that the actions the guards took allowed a man — who is by most accounts, a twisted monster who groomed, sexually abused and even trafficked potentially dozens of underage girls — to escape the long-awaiting justice that was in front of him.
Whether he took his own life or something more nefarious ended it, these two guards were responsible for seeing that his victims were given the opportunity to see justice, and they failed miserably.
Now they, like Epstein when he breathed his last breath, have evaded accountability for their actions.