Guards charged with falsifying records in Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide
Two correction officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he took his own life have been charged with falsifying records.
They’re identified as 31-year-old Tova Noel and 41-year-old Michael Thomas. Noel had been on the job for three years, and Thomas for 12.
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges back in August.
Just two weeks before his apparent jail suicide, he was placed on suicide watch after being found with bruises on his neck.
CBS News sources confirm the convicted sex offender was taken off suicide watch after about a week and placed into a high security housing unit, where he was supposed to be checked on by correction officers every 30 minutes. But sources say the disgraced financier had been dead for up to two hours before he was found.
According to the indictment, the checks on prisoners weren’t done for about eight hours before Epstein was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck.
The officers are accused of failing to check on him every half hour and fabricating log entries to claim they had. Instead, it’s alleged they “sat at their desk, browsed the internet, and moved around the common area.”
The guards were previously placed on leave after allegedly submitting false reports that they were checking on Epstein.
Meanwhile, six women have filed lawsuits against Epstein’s estate in the past week, CBS News reports. A 31-year-old woman, identified as Jane Doe 15, claims she was just a teenager when he sexually abused her at his ranch in New Mexico.
“Epstein took my sexual innocence in front of a wall of framed photographs of him shaking hands and smiling with celebrities and political leaders,” she said. “I was only 15 years old.”
Another recent accuser, Maria Farmer, told CBS This Morning that Epstein sexually assaulted her more than 20 years ago. She also spoke about his alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, who has denied any wrongdoing.
“She told me she was Jeffrey’s wife when I first was introduced,” said Farmer. “She was completely in charge. Jeffrey was good cop, Ghislaine was bad cop.”
More than a dozen other alleged victims shared their stories in Manhattan Federal Court weeks after his death.