Accused pedophile and wealthy Manhattan financier Jeffrey Epstein was found injured and in a fetal position inside his cell at a New York City jail, according to sources close to the investigation.
Epstein, who is being held in Metropolitan Correctional Center during his trial for conspiracy and sex trafficking, was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck, two sources told NBC News 4. Investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened, saying details remain murky.
According to CNBC, Epstein may have tried to hang himself, while a third source cautioned that the injuries were not serious and questioned if Epstein might be using it as a way to get a transfer.
A fourth source said an assault has not been ruled out, and that another inmate was questioned. The inmate who investigators have talked to in Lower Manhattan facility has been identified as Nicholas Tartaglione, according to two sources.
Tartaglione is a former police officer in Westchester County who was arrested in December 2016 and accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy, then burying their bodies in his yard in Otisville in Orange County, according to court records.
Sources told News 4 investigators questioned Tartaglione, and the former cop claimed not to have seen anything and insisted he did not touch Epstein, sources said.
The attorney for Tartaglione denied all the claims that his client attacked the financier, saying his client and Epstein get along well. The attorney added Epstein was seen today and appears to be fine.
“They are in the same unit and doing well,” said Bruce Barket, an attorney for Tartaglione. He said any claim that Tartaglione might have assaulted Epstein “is absolutely not true.”
Barket said Tartaglione and Epstein have been complaining about conditions inside the MCC including flooding, rodents and bad food.
Epstein is now on suicide watch inside MCC, according to two sources. Attorneys for Epstein did not immediately return calls for comment.
A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons did not return calls and spokesmen for the U.S. Marshals and U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment.
Most recently in the sex trafficking case against Epstein, the wealthy financier had been denied bail on July 18 following a bombshell search-warrant revelation that Epstein had a fake passport and piles of cash stashed in his safe.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman cited risk of flight and danger to the community in his decision against Epstein, a registered sex offender and private-island owner who faces new federal charges of exploiting dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
That meant Epstein would remain behind bars pending trial (a date for the start of which has yet to be set).
Epstein attorneys filed their notice of appeal to the bail ruling on Monday.
Berman said prosecutors established a “preponderance” of evidence of Epstein being a flight risk, calling the fake Saudi passport “concerning,” and said the government also established community danger by “clear and convincing evidence” — which led to his decision to keep the financier behind bars.
Epstein’s lawyers had wanted him released on house arrest with electronic monitoring at his $77 million Manhattan mansion. They said he wouldn’t run and was willing to pledge a fortune of at least $559 million as collateral.
Berman described their proposed bail package as “irretrievably inadequate,” saying, “I doubt any bail package can overcome his danger to the community.”
Prosecutors, meanwhile, had argued evidence against Epstein was growing “stronger by the day” after several more women contacted them in recent days to say he abused them when they were underage.
Berman cited victims’ testimony as having an impact on his decision, in addition to Epstein’s alleged history of intimidating, threatening and paying off witnesses or other parties involved in the case.
One of the accusers he cited was Courtney Wild, who recently came forward and said Epstein started sexually abusing her when she was 14 in Palm Beach. She told reporters at a news conference in New York Tuesday that Epstein “will never stop sexually abusing children until he is in jail” and urged the judge to deny bail.
Berman also questioned whether Epstein has adhered to the requirements of being a registered sex offender, which he had to do as part of a plea deal with Florida prosecutors more than a decade ago.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and sex trafficking charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. Wild’s accusations are not part of that indictment. The financier’s next court date is set for July 31.
Trump Again Boosts a Baseless Conspiracy Theory, This One About Jeffrey Epstein
President Donald Trump on Saturday promoted a conspiracy theory linking the Clinton family to the death of multimillionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, the latest instance of Trump propagating baseless conspiracy theories and falsehoods.
Trump shared a tweet and video from conservative comedian Terrence Williams that claimed without evidence that former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — Trump’s 2016 presidential election rival — were responsible for Epstein’s death. The Federal Bureau of Prisons and Attorney General Bill Barr said Epstein died in an “apparent suicide” while in federal custody.
As a result of Trump’s retweet, the video received more than 3 million views on Twitter by Sunday morning — more than triple Williams’ most recent videos. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were friendly with Epstein in previous decades, but Trump seized on the conspiracy theory Saturday in his latest dig at the Clintons. The tweet also falsely claimed that Epstein died while on suicide watch, even though Epstein had been taken off of suicide watch before his death.
Angel Ureña, a spokesman for the former president, called the conspiracy theory “ridiculous, and of course not true.”
“And Donald Trump knows it,” Ureña tweeted.
Trump promotes conspiracy theories
Lawmakers and government officials have called for inquiries into Epstein’s death, but none have gone so far as to even suggest that political rivals were behind it.
Unlike any other President before him, Trump has repeatedly promoted evidence-free conspiracy theories and falsehoods without regard for the consequences of his rhetoric.
Even before he was a candidate for President, Trump grew his following on the political right by promoting the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya — and not the United States — even after Obama released a birth certificate showing he was born in the US.
During his campaign for President, Trump spread a conspiracy theory linking the father of his then-GOP presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Cruz campaign denied it was Rafael Cruz and Cruz, a Texas Republican, responded at the time by blasting Trump as a pathological liar.
And in the second month of his presidency, Trump accused Obama without evidence of tapping his phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. More than two years later, there is still no evidence that Trump’s phones were wiretapped during the 2016 campaign.
Trump has also repeatedly claimed without evidence that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election; has fed conspiracy theories about a “deep state” of government officials working against him; and has also falsely smeared former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt” and called the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign “treason” — among many others.
Trump was not the only official in his administration to promote the Epstein-Clintons conspiracy theory.
Lynne Patton, a senior official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a longtime Trump family aide and friend, also gave voice to the conspiracy theory on her Instagram account earlier in the day.
Trump’s tweet promoting the conspiracy theory came about an hour after Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio warned of the dangers of spreading partisan conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death.
“Scrutiny of how #Epstein was able to commit suicide is warranted,” Rubio tweeted. “But the immediate rush to spread conspiracy theories about someone on the ‘other side’ of partisan divide having him killed illustrates why our society is so vulnerable to foreign disinformation & influence efforts.”
White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News Sunday defending the President. “I think the President just wants everything to be investigated,” Conway said when asked about Trump’s controversial retweet.
“Just the day before, there was some unsealed information implicating some people very high up,” she said, referring to the hundreds of pages of documents from a defamation lawsuit from one of Epstein’s accusers. Those documents were unsealed Friday by a court.
“I will say that there’s always this rush to (say), ‘We need transparency. We need accountability,’ when it involves fictional accusations like collusion with Russia to swing an election. This seems to be very concrete and that Jeffrey Epstein has done some very bad things over a number of years. So let’s continue to investigate that,” Conway said.
Democrats call out Trump for ‘more recklessness’
Still, two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday called out Trump for retweeting the Epstein conspiracy theory and the President’s history of spreading baseless claims.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker called Trump’s latest theory-peddling “more recklessness” and “dangerous,” telling CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that Trump has “been using the Clintons as a means for a lot of his false accusations.”
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke also told Tapper that Trump is attacking his “political enemies with unfounded conspiracy theories” and called it “bizarre behavior.”
O’Rourke said the President is attempting to shift the focus away from last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
“He’s changing the conversation, and if we allow him to do that, then we will never be able to focus on the true problems, of which he is a part, and make sure that we get to the solutions,” O’Rourke, an El Paso native, said.
Jeffrey Epstein Was Not Being Monitored in Jail as Directed Before His Death
Authorities said Epstein died of apparent suicide. He was in jail on sex-trafficking charges.
The law enforcement official told The Times Epstein was supposed to be checked by guards every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not being followed the night he was found dead in the Manhattan jail.
The jail had also transferred Epstein’s cellmate and left him alone ahead of his apparent suicide, The Times reports.
Epstein’s death has left officials and lawmakers asking for answers on how this happened.
Epstein had apparently been taken off suicide watch before he died.
His death comes just weeks after officials investigated a possible suicide attempt.
The FBI is launching an investigation into the circumstances of Epstein’s death, Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
R. Kelly Charged With Soliciting a Minor in Minnesota
A Minnesota prosecutor has charged R. Kelly with prostitution and solicitation charges for a 2001 allegation that he invited a 17-year-old girl to his hotel and paid her $200 to dance naked with him.
On Monday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is accused of soliciting the girl after meeting her before a concert in Minneapolis.
Freeman said the girl was trying to get an autograph from Kelly, and that the R&B performer gave her his signature and a phone number. When the girl called the number, she was invited to Kelly’s hotel. There she was offered $200 to take off her clothes and dance, Freeman said. He said Kelly took his clothes off and they danced together.
A criminal complaint said the girl said Kelly lay on his bed and the girl climbed on top of him “body to body.”
“According to Victim, the defendant was rubbing her body” and fondling himself, according to the complaint. “Victim stated that the defendant touched all over her body.”
The complaint said the girl attended Kelly’s concert “as a guest who did not have to pay,” and told her brother what had happened in Kelly’s hotel room.
According to Variety, Freeman said that the victim was under 18 but at least 16 years old at the time and the incident involved “dancing and sexual contact.” He added that there was no sexual intercourse between Kelly and the victim.
The charges are felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison. Freeman said his office investigated after getting a tip from a Chicago tip line.
“We felt we had more than enough to charge based on her testimony and corroboration from her brother,” Freeman — who did not provide a name for the alleged victim in Minneapolis — said.
In a statement to Fox News on Monday, Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg, said: “That case is a pure publicity grab by the prosecutor.” Greenberg also tweeted: “Give me a break. This is beyond absurd.”
Gloria Allred, the attorney for several of Kelly’s accusers, said she also represents the newest woman to come forward. She commended the woman “for the courage she displayed in speaking to law enforcement.
“As this new case demonstrates, it is not too late for there to be justice for even more victims of R. Kelly,” Allred — who added she will not name the woman — said in a statement.
Allred said her client is not a prostitute. She told a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday that she was told the prostitution statute was the only one available to Minnesota authorities to charge Kelly in this case.
The charges are the latest legal problem for the 52-year-old singer, who remains jailed in New York after pleading not guilty last week in federal court to charges that he sexually abused women and girls who attended his concerts there. He is accused of using his fame to recruit young women and girls into illegal sexual activity.
Kelly is also charged separately in Chicago with engaging in child pornography.
- USA4 years ago
Search for Gunman Puts Community College of Philadelphia on Lockdown
- News2 months ago
VIDEO Pregnant Woman Fights in Parking Lot, Before Getting Hit and Run Over by SUV
- News1 month ago
‘Only Survivor’ Reveals Truth of Fatal Accident in 1994 Linked to Ricardo Rossello
- News2 months ago
Wisconsin Father Killed 5-Year-Old Son For Eating Father’s Day Cake
- News2 months ago
Man Shoots Baby In The Head After Her Mom Rejected Him At A Party
- ENTERTAINMENT3 years ago
Usher’s Naked Selfie Exposes Too Much Despite Attempt to Censor Image
- News2 months ago
Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Alabama Woman Who Was Shot While Pregnant
- USA4 years ago
Hacktivist Group Anonymous Publishes Names of Alleged Ku Klux Klan Members