03:48 GMT20 June 2021
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    Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges and put in a New York City jail to await trial in July 2019. A month later, he was found dead in his prison cell, with the authorities claiming the 66-year-old had committed suicide.

    US District Judge Analisa Torres has approved a plea deal that two jail guards, who were charged with improperly watching convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, concluded with federal prosecutors earlier this month.

    Instead of being put behind bars, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, will complete 100 hours of community service and be under pretrial supervision for six months, in line with the agreement they reached with prosecutors.

     In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference in New York, to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein
    © AP Photo / John Minchillo
    In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference in New York, to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein

    As part of the plea deal, the two prison guards confessed to falsely filling out forms saying they had made their rounds to check on inmates on the night Epstein reportedly killed himself in the Special Housing Unit of a federal Metropolitan Correctional Centre.

    They admitted that they "willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding required counts and rounds".

    Both officers were reportedly captured on surveillance footage neglecting their duties. They were accused of actually snoozing or surfing the web instead of making their rounds.

    In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution. He was then released under a plea deal, only to be charged with sex trafficking and sexual abuse in July 2019. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    In August of that year, the 66-year-old was found dead in his prison cell in New York City, with officials later declaring that he had committed suicide.

    The cause of his death, however, remains disputed amid conspiracy theories wondering whether he was murdered to prevent him from testifying against his high-profile friends, including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew.

    Related:

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    Freudian Slip? Grammy Winner Mentions Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein in Acceptance Speech
    Jeffrey Epstein’s Posh New York Mansion Purchased by Ex-Goldman Sachs Executive
    Epstein's 'Madam' Maxwell Reportedly Seeks Dismissal of Sex Abuse Case Because Jury 'Too White'
    Tags:
    plea deal, prison, guards, judge, Jeffrey Epstein, US
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