Everything we know about Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide

Everything we know about Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide

On Saturday, it emerged that multi-millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein had ended his own life in a New York federal jail.

The 66-year-old had been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges last month and was being held without bail.

"[Epstein] was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit from an apparent suicide," a statement from the Justice Department said. "Mr Epstein was transported... to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead," the statement added.

jeffrey epstein Credit: Getty

There are still many questions left to be answered about his suicide, and the criminal charges which fuelled it. Here's what we know so far:

What exactly were Epstein's alleged crimes?

The disgraced financier was accused of paying dozens of underage girls - some as young as 14 - to have sex with him in his homes in both New York and Florida, between 2002 and 2005.

He avoided federal charges in 2007 after signing a plea deal with prosecutors. This past July, however, he was arrested on new sex trafficking charges at a New Jersey airport.

Epstein was refused bail and the opportunity to stay under house arrest in his extravagant Upper East Side mansion. He was instead held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center from July until his death.

Authorities believe Epstein hanged himself on Saturday.

Was Epstein on suicide watch at the time of his death?

Epstein had previously been on suicide watch after being found in a cell with bite marks on his neck on July 23.

According to a law enforcement source and a CNN source, it is unclear whether the injuries were self-inflicted or whether Epstein had been attacked whilst in the facility. The sources also said that Epstein claimed he had been assaulted due to the charges brought against him.

Psychologists with the Bureau of Prisons eventually took him off suicide watch after a number of psychological assessments.

Should he still have been on suicide watch?

Suicide watch generally does not last any longer than one or two days, said Jack Donson, a former correctional treatment specialist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

"I've never seen in my entire career a suicide watch lasting more than a week," Donson said. "So the context of him committing suicide while on watch, that's just a fallacy."

Resources are limited, and requiring staff to work overtime so an inmate can be watched 24 hours a day is costly.

"I was probably being paid $500, $600 for a shift of overtime just to watch somebody through a window," Donson said.

When an inmate no longer seems intent on harming themselves, they are usually taken off suicide watch.

What will happen in terms of the charges brought against Epstein now that he is dead?

While the federal case against Epstein has now come to an end, plaintiffs can still sue Epstein's estate, according to CNN legal analyst Paul Callan.

One alleged victim, Jennifer Araoz, who claims Epstein raped her when she was 15 is expected to file a lawsuit. She said she is "angry Jeffrey Epstein won't have to face his survivors of his abuse in court."

"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," she added in a prepared statement.

What will happen to some of Epstein's associates?

The financier's associates and employees could also be subject to criminal cases related to the sexual abuse allegations.

While only Epstein was charged in the indictment, court papers mention three employees, who were not named, but are believed to have scheduled underage girls to give him massages which led to sexual abuse.

One of the three employees, referred to as Employee-1, called the alleged victims to arrange future visits to his Upper East Side home.

Robbie Kaplan, an attorney for one of the alleged victims, said "the many victims of Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices should not lose hope."

"We will continue to fight tirelessly on their behalf not only to seek justice but also to ensure that all of the facts of his monstrous crimes become known to the world," she said.

"We need to expose the whole truth here so that crimes of this scale and scope never happen to any young girls (or boys) ever again."