Awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking, Jeffrey Epstein was found with injuries in his New York City jail cell on Wednesday, per NBC News.
Found semiconscious in the fetal position, Epstein had marks on his neck and is currently on suicide watch after the incident.
It’s still ambiguous what exactly happened to Epstein—some say it was a suicide attempt, while others hypothesize that Epstein staged an attack or suicide attempt because the injuries weren’t serious. Otherwise, authorities haven’t ruled out the possibility that it was an attack from another inmate, and they have questioned inmate Nicholas Tartaglione about the incident. Tartaglione is currently saying that he didn’t see anything or touch Epstein.
Tartaglione is a former police officer who was charged with drug conspiracy and four counts of murder. He was arrested in December 2016, and allegedly killed four men in a cocaine distribution conspiracy and then buried their bodies in his own backyard. Tartaglione is currently awaiting his own trial.
Epstein was arrested on July 6 for alleged sex trafficking that spans 2002-2005. A registered sex offender in Florida, the billionaire allegedly paid minors as young as 14 years old for a multitude of sex acts, and would allegedly pay more for those minors to bring their friends to perform sex acts. Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges of sex trafficking.
In 2008, Epstein served a 13-month sentence in a Florida jail after pleading guilty on charges of procuring a minor for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution. Epstein was granted a federal non-prosecution agreement, which covered the Miami area and would no longer protect him if he committed illegal acts elsewhere in the country.
With Epstein’s current charges, he could serve up to 45 years in jail if found guilty. Otherwise, the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the handling of Epstein’s 2008 charges and the quote-unquote “sweetheart deal” Epstein received, as Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse would call it. Last week, a federal judge denied bail for Epstein after a proposed $77 million bail package from the defense.