Epstein Guards Who Slept on the Job and Falsified Logs Will Serve 100 Hours of Community Service
Two jail guards charged with ignoring their duties the night Jeffrey Epstein killed himself and then lying about it have reached an agreement that could end the criminal case against them, federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Friday.
The guards, Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, had been accused of browsing the internet and napping rather than checking on Mr. Epstein every half-hour as they were supposed to the night before he was found dead in his cell at a federal jail in Manhattan. Mr. Epstein, a wealthy financier, was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges when he hanged himself.
After failing to do their jobs, prosecutors said, Mr. Thomas and Ms. Noel falsified official logs to indicate that they had made their required rounds when they had actually been checking sports news, shopping for furniture online and dozing off.
Both guards had pleaded not guilty to making false records and conspiracy to defraud the United States. As part of what are known as deferred prosecution agreements, they admitted that they had “willfully and knowingly completed materially false” records of their activities.
The federal judge overseeing the case must still approve the agreements, which typically spare defendants from criminal convictions so long as their live up to their commitments.
In addition to 100 hours of community service apiece, Mr. Thomas and Ms. Noel agreed to assist Justice Department investigators who are examining the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s death, which William P. Barr, the U.S. attorney general at the time, said resulted from “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the agreements.
Mr. Epstein, 66, had been in jail for more than a month when he was found dead in his cell early on Aug. 10, 2019. Already a convicted sex offender, he had pleaded not guilty to the latest charges. If convicted, he faced up to 45 years in prison.
The jail where Mr. Epstein killed himself, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, has long been plagued by staff shortages and other problems. Lawyers for Mr. Thomas and Ms. Noel had suggested that their clients were being made scapegoats for larger problems there and in the federal prison system more broadly.
Both guards, their lawyers noted, had worked several overtime shifts the week that Mr. Epstein killed himself. In addition, he had been left alone without a cellmate on the night in question and the next morning despite another suicide attempt about three weeks earlier.
Source: The New York Times
If there was a conspiracy to assassinate a man who knew compromising information about the power elite, two of the lowest-level conspirators are getting away with no jail time.
The two prison guards who allowed Jeffrey Epstein to die with nobody checking up on his safety (despite having been on suicide watch) are getting a slap on their wrists: 100 hours of community service and six months of pretrial supervision.
This seems a very light penalty, considering that they falsified documents attesting to their carrying out the duties that they neglected, and the profound consequences of their perjurious neglect of duty. Public confidence in the integrity of the Bureau of Prisons and the entire justice system has been tanked.
There is a faint ray of hope, however. According to a letter submitted to the court seeking approval of the arrangement, the two guards, Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, “will cooperate with a pending Department of Justice Office of Inspector General review by providing truthful information related to their employment by the Bureau of Prisons, including about the events and circumstances described in the Indictment.”
Their cooperation will be enforced because the plea is a “deferred prosecution,” meaning that if their cooperation is deemed inadequate, they can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, likely meaning prison time. But are the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York really interested in finding out if someone took advantage of (and possibly encouraged) the guards’ negligence to assassinate Epstein, as so many believe?
We have been told that Epstein had extensive video surveillance of the activities of his guests and that his New York home was searched. Why has there been no sign of criminal prosecution of sex with underage girls, as has been almost universally assumed to be taking place at his mansion?
The guards may have benefited from consideration of their state of overwork due to short staffing at the Manhattan facility. One was on a second consecutive eight-hour shift while the other had worked mandatory overtime five days in a row. The prosecutors are not pushing a narrative that would embarrass their fellow Justice Department colleagues at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
And that sort of self-protective instinct among federal employees, avoiding embarrassment, could extend to letting sleeping dogs lie when it comes to getting to the bottom of Epstein’s activities with the rich, powerful, and famous.
A few years ago, I would have been mildly hopeful that the two guards would spill the beans to prosecutors if Epstein didn’t kill himself and there was some sort of conspiracy that disabled security cameras and kept the guards away as an assassin killed him. But after witnessing the behavior of the DOJ during the Trump presidency and after, I have no faith whatsoever in the integrity of its prosecution decisions.
Source: American Thinker