American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested last month on sex trafficking charges, committed suicide by hanging in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Lower Manhattan on Friday night, ABC News reported, citing law enforcement officials. The FBI is investigating his death.
The exact timing of the suicide was not immediately clear.
His death comes less than three weeks after multiple media outlets reported that he was found unconscious in his cell, with marks on his neck that were apparently self-inflicted. At the time, multiple news websites and newspapers assumed that the financier had tried to kill himself. Following the 23 July incident, he was put on suicide watch.
The 66-year-old financier was set to stand trial next year over multiple allegations of child sex trafficking and sexually assaulting over 30 underage girls. Epstein, who was arrested on 6 July, had pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of minor girls in his New York mansion and Florida estate, from at least 2002 to 2005. He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
The charges were announced more than a decade after Epstein served 13 months in jail on prostitution-related charges involving underage girls.