Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found in his jail cell earlier this week with marks on his neck, and authorities are trying to determine if he was attacked or may have attempted suicide, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Epstein, 66, a multimillionaire who spent decades socializing with the rich and famous in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., claimed to guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan that he had been attacked, one of these people said. The precise circumstances of what happened to Epstein were unclear, and prison officials declined to discuss the incident.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which runs the facility, said in a statement that Epstein is “currently housed at MCC New York and not in a local hospital as has been reported. 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.”
Martin Weinberg, a lawyer for Epstein, did not return calls seeking comment.
A registered sex offender, Epstein was arrested July 6 after landing at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport and charged with sex trafficking dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005.
The case has drawn significant attention because in 2008, the jet-setting financier struck a deal with prosecutors in Florida over similar accusations. In that case, he spent about 13 months in jail, with special work-release accommodations that have been sharply criticized by lawmakers and others as too lenient.
A federal judge decided Epstein would remain in jail while he awaits trial on the new charges. The judge said he was concerned that releasing Epstein could pose a risk to potential new victims.
Epstein’s case has come under intense scrutiny over the terms of his earlier plea deal, which was approved by then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, whom President Trump made his labor secretary. Acosta resigned from the administration after the new charges were brought.