The two worked as prison guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal jail in Manhattan that's mostly used for defendants awaiting trial.
The charges against the two guards are the first to arise from a criminal inquiry into his death. The girls, as young as 14 years old, were brought to his properties ostensibly to provide Epstein massages, but he would escalate the encounters by making unwanted physical contact that would ultimately end in sexual abuse, prosecutors wrote in a federal indictment filed in July that involved allegations stretching back to the early 2000s.
His appearance on BBC's Newsnight to explain his friendship with the convicted sex offender and deny allegations of having sex with an under-age teenager has been widely condemned, but the duke is said to be standing by his decision to put forward his side of the story.
A grand jury indictment made public Tuesday accused guards Toval Noel and Michael Thomas of neglecting their duties by failing to perform checks on Epstein every half hour, as required, and of fabricating log entries to show they had. After that, Epstein was placed on suicide watch for about a week but then was taken off and returned to special detention unit where inmates receive extra supervision, including being checked in on once every 30 minutes. "Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction". The guard, a man not identified by officials, had previously been trained as a corrections officer but had moved to another position.
In the wake of his death, Attorney General William Barr said there were "serious irregularities" at the prison, and he removed Hugh Hurwitz, the acting head of the Bureau of Prisons at the time.
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The secretary said Epstein was interested in helping girls who were in hard circumstances, and when Doe arrived, Epstein summoned her to give him a massage alone, and then sexually assaulted her, the lawsuit said.
Even with his death, federal prosecutors in NY have continued to investigate the allegations against Epstein. Prior to the criminal cases against him, he was best known for his wealth and high-profile connections.
Prosecutors have said Epstein and his associates systematically recruited young girls for him to sexually abuse in his mansions in Manhattan and in Palm Beach, Florida. The financier once counted U.S. President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew as friends.