Attorney General Barr: Epstein co-conspirators 'should not rest easy'

Metropolitan Correctional Center

Enlarge Image Metropolitan Correctional Center Christopher Sadowski MEGA

Jail protocols requiring routine checks on the well-being of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein appear to have not been followed in the hours before the millionaire was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, sources told ABC News on Sunday.

She said one of the individuals assigned to watch Epstein's unit did not normally work as a correctional officer but, like others in roles such as counselors and teachers, was able to do so. Those gripes are now part of the investigation into whether the 30-minute checks were happening, sources said.

"The Federal Bureau of Prisons must provide answers on what systemic failures of the MCC Manhattan or criminal acts allowed this coward to deny justice to his victims", he tweeted.

"Let me assure you that case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein", Barr said in remarks to a law enforcement group in New Orleans on Monday.

In a brief statement on the night of August 11, Barbara Sampson, the city's chief medical examiner, said that Dr. Michael Baden observed the autopsy examination, reported the New York Daily News.

After Epstein's first suicide attempt, his cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, 51, a former NY police officer in jail and facing the death penalty for allegedly kidnapping and killing four men, was questioned in regards to the incident.

Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly. The 66-year-old financier was being held on charges of sex trafficking young girls and conspiracy and had been on suicide watch after an apparent attempt to kill himself last month.

"We are enormously sorry to learn of Jeffrey Epstein's passing", Epstein's defense attorneys said in a statement Sunday. Baden was the city's chief medical examiner in the late 1970s and has been called as an expert witness in high-profile cases, including O.J. Simpson's 1995 murder trial. He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial. Other news outlets, including the New York Times and TMZ, reported that guards were supposed to check him at the same time intervals.

The case against Alkisi was dropped after he pleaded guilty to an immigration violation and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Sigrid McCawley, Giuffre's attorney, said Epstein's suicide less than 24 hours after the documents were unsealed "is no coincidence".

A longtime pathologist said it's not unusual that Sampson didn't immediately release a cause of death after performing Epstein's autopsy.

According to police reports obtained by the AP, Epstein had a team of recruiters and employees who lined up underage girls for him.

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