NEW YORK — Authorities are investigating after officials found disgraced financier and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein injured this week in his Manhattan jail cell, according to multiple reports.
Epstein, 66, has been jailed since his July 6 arrest on federal sex trafficking charges. Prosecutors say he's suspected of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of girls as young as 14 between 2002 and 2005 at his homes in New York and Florida.
Update 12 p.m. EDT July 25: In a statement obtained by Politico, officials with the federal Bureau of Prisons said Epstein was in custody Thursday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York, after reports surfaced that he'd been found injured in his jail cell.
Citing unidentified sources, WABC-TV reported Epstein was taken to a hospital after he was found Tuesday with injuries to his neck. The news station reported his injuries appeared to be self-inflicted, although an unidentified source told WNBC they did not appear serious and questioned whether they were part of a ploy by Epstein to get a transfer from the Manhattan federal facility.
A source told WABC-TV that Epstein was taken to a hospital, where he underwent a medical evaluation before being returned to MCC New York.
Authorities declined to discuss Epstein's health in the statement released Thursday.
"As with all inmates, for privacy and security reasons, we do not share information on an inmate's medical status or their conditions of confinement," Bureau of Prison officials said.
Epstein's attorneys asked a judge last week to allow their client to be held on house arrest as he awaits trial on charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman declined, citing the potential danger Epstein poses to others and the community. Epstein's lawyers filed a notice appealing the decision Monday.
An additional source said that the injuries may be the result of an assault.
Epstein is reportedly now on suicide watch, according to WNBC.
Epstein's attorneys filed a notice of appeal Monday after U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman denied their client bail last week. In his decision, Berman cited the potential danger Epstein poses to others and the community.
Prosecutors last week asked Berman to hold Epstein, 66, without bail, arguing that he is a flight risk and danger to the community. Attorneys for Epstein denied that their client posed a flight risk and asked Berman to allow Epstein to be held under house arrest at his Manhattan mansion.
Epstein is accused of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of girls between 2002 and 2005 at his homes in New York and Florida, allegedly heading a sex trafficking scheme that saw his victims recruiting other girls to be abused.
He has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy charges.
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