• Jeffrey Epstein Dead from Apparent Suicide — Justice Evaded? Hold On …

    Surge Summary: Accused sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein dies in jail from an apparent suicide. Media, lawyers and accusers react. 

    Breaking News!

    Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier and accused sex trafficker, is dead by apparent suicide, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

    Epstein was in his federal jail cell in Manhattan but was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple people familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

    His death comes a little over two weeks after he was found injured and in a fetal position in his cell at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. He was semiconscious with marks on his neck at the time. [Tom Winter, Jonathan Dienst and Phil McCausland/NBC News]

    Coincidentally, and possibly connected directly, Epstein’s death comes one day after court documents were unsealed providing new details about Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking.

    Less than 24 hours later officials told NBC News the sixty-six-year-old, who was being held on federal sex trafficking charges, was found unresponsive in his jail cell at 6:30 a.m/ET, victim of an apparently self-inflicted hanging.

    Epstein was arrested July 6 at an airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, as he returned from Paris on a private jet. He was charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, and faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty.

    Epstein had pleaded not guilty and been denied bail.

    The indictment on his case showed that he sought out minors, some as young as 14, from at least 2002 through 2005 and paying them hundreds of dollars in cash for sex at either his Manhattan townhouse or his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, federal prosecutors revealed last month.

    Saturday morning, Epstein was transported from the jail to a Lower Manhattan hospital, in cardiac arrest, people familiar with the situation say. There he was pronounced dead.

    The FBI does not normally look into suicides at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility, but given the nature of this case and out of an “abundance of caution” it has undertaken this probe, a senior law enforcement official said.

    There is nothing at this point to suggest foul play in Epstein’s death.

    Clearly and understandably, many questions remain. Why was he not on suicide watch at the time of his death, for instance?  In a case this high-profile, saturated with media coverage? How does something like that happen?

    And there’s another facet to this story …

    Since Epstein’s death was first reported on Saturday, Epstein’s alleged victims have expressed anger and frustration that they won’t be able to see the man stand trial.

    “We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” said Jennifer Araoz, who accused Epstein of raping her when she was 15. “Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served.”

    Many of the lawyers representing various of Epstein’s alleged victims are expressing questions of their own.

    Lisa Bloom, the lawyer for some of his alleged victims, said they “would have preferred he lived to face justice,” but that they will continue to proceed in suing his estate. “Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused.”

    If, in fact, Epstein was guilty of these heinous deeds – and, bluntly, the evidence is rather overwhelming – this could be regarded as a kind of justice, but only rough justice.

    “The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled is both unfortunate and predictable,” said Brad Edwards, another attorney representing some Epstein accusers. “The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused.”

    Then there’s this:[Each man] will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:5)

    Human justice is not the final recourse for any of us. An apparent escape from legal reckoning in this life hardly constitutes an ultimate escape from the eternal equivalent.

    No doubt, more information will be forthcoming. A sordid, scandalous matter well could become even more so in the days ahead.

    Image: Adapted from: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department – Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department [1][2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5616285

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