Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson performed the autopsy Sunday on the accused billionaire, one day after he was found unresponsive in a Manhattan prison. Epstein, who’s been held for more than a month and faced numerous counts of sex crimes, had been taken off suicide watch when he died.
Authorities have said they do not suspect foul play in Epstein’s death, which occurred just weeks after he was hospitalized for neck injuries and placed on suicide watch. Continual observation had stopped by the time he was found dead, The New York Times reported.
Authorities, including U.S. Attorney General William Barr, have expressed dismay at Epstein’s death in federal custody and pledged to investigate. The Justice Department has already opened an inquiry, officials said.
Epstein was facing charges of sex trafficking that stemmed from activities over a period of three years in the early 2000s. He served a 13-month prison sentence in Florida in 2008 after he was charged with similar offenses, and was forced to register as a sex offender. His attorneys unsuccessfully lobbied for bail and house arrest on the new charges, but a federal New York judge declared him a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Friday, a federal court unsealed new documents for a civil lawsuit against the 66-year-old billionaire. In the documents, a woman accused a prominent law professor, a member of the British Royal Family and a former U.S. governor of being connected with Epstein’s pedophile activities.
Dan Kaiser, an attorney for Epstein accuser Jennifer Araoz, said her case will continue despite the death — and several other accusers have expressed a similar sentiment.
“This week, we intend to pursue justice for our client, Jennifer Araoz, and hold accountable those who enabled Mr. Epstein’s criminal activity,” Kaiser said. “Regardless of his untimely death, our case will move forward. Jennifer deserves her day in court.”
The Washington Post reported late Sunday that corrections officers at the jail house hadn’t checked on Epstein for several hours at the time he was found dead.