WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A psychologist settled at the federal detention center in New York City when the cashier Jeffrey Epstein was imprisoned for sex trafficking charges to be removed from looking at suicide before he killed himself, said the Department of Justice. Australian Friday.
PHOTO FILE: US cashier Jeffrey Epstein sees a photograph taken for the Civil Service State-New Program of the Criminal Justice Services sex offender program March 28, 2017 and received Reuters July 10, 2019. New York State Division Criminal Justice Services / Leaflet / Photo File via REUTERS
The discovery came in a letter dated Thursday from the Assistant Attorney Stephen Boyd and was sent to the leaders of the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee, seeking details of the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death earlier this month.
Epstein, aged 66, was found dead 10 August in a cell within a separate housing unit of the City Reform Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Autopsy decided that he was hanged.
Investigations arose by the FBI, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice and the US Prison Bureau, who run the detention facility.
The Boyd letter, provided to Reuters on Friday, confirmed that Epstein was looking at suicide in July, a status under which the named prisoner is kept in a special cell under constant observation by staff or by “resident companions.”
Epstein was “removed from a suicide watch later after a psychologist at doctoral level considered that a suicide watch was no longer needed,” Boyd wrote in the letter three pages.
The letter did not state precisely why a suicide watch was ordered for Epstein. However, Epstein was found in July unaware of his cell floor with markings on his neck, and officers were investigating that incident as a suicide attempt or assault.
As well as being housed in a special room which gives the occupier an unrestricted view and easy access from outside, a suicide victim is assessed daily by a psychologist, the letter said.
Normally, as a short-term restriction, only a psychologist can stop a suicide surveillance bureau in the facilities of the Prison Bureau following a one-to-one evaluation of the prisoner, Boyd wrote. No reason was given for Epstein's involvement.
At MCC, two prison gardaí are required to carry out separate checks on each prisoner every 30 minutes, but this procedure was not followed overnight, told Reuters.
Last week the Attorney General William Barr ordered the reassignment of the superintendent in charge of the Lower Manhattan detention facility, together with a temporary replacement and two correction officers assigned to Epstein's unit on administrative leave for the duration of the period. probe.
The team attended hours after President Donald Trump requested that the matter be fully investigated.
Epstein, who once agreed with Trump and former President Bill Clinton as friends, was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges on sex trafficking involving many girls as young as 14.
Two days before his death, Epstein signed all his property, worth more than $ 577 million, in a trust named 1953 Trust, after his birth year, according to a copy of the document that Reuters saw.
Reporting by Sarah Lynch in Washington; Additional writing and reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Edited by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler
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