Federal prosecutors confirm that the Epstein sex trafficking investigation will continue despite his death

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in New York, Monday, July 8, 2019. Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents unsealed Monday show Epstein is charged with creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in New York, Monday, July 8, 2019. Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents unsealed Monday show Epstein is charged with creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)Associated Press

  • Federal prosecutors confirmed Saturday they will continue their investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and the charges against him of sex trafficking minors and conspiracy.
  • Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell early Saturday morning.
  • US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said, "today's events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein's many victims their day in Court."
  • The FBI and the Office of the Inspector General have opened investigations into the circumstances of Epstein's apparent suicide, which occurred at 6:30 AM in Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center by hanging. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The case against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, will continue despite his death by apparent suicide early Saturday morning in a Manhattan jail.

The office of the US Attorney of the Southern District of New York released a statement confirming that the investigation into the charges is ongoing. It emphasized the count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, and urged any victims or people with relevant information to call the FBI. 

Berman also confirmed that the staff of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan found Epstein unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after. The US Department of Justice clarified Saturday that Epstein was found at around 6:30 AM and that staff performed "life-saving measures."

"Today's events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein's many victims their day in Court," Berman's statement said. "To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment - which included a conspiracy count - remains ongoing."

Read more: 'He had the misfortune to be a wealthy man in the #metoo era': Epstein's lawyer blames prosecutors, jailers, judge, and reporters for his client's death

Just weeks before Epstein's death, he was found unresponsive and injured in his cell with what appeared to be self-inflicted marks around his neck. He was briefly hospitalized and put on suicide watch, but The New York Times reported Saturday he was returned to the jail's special housing unit July 29.

Both the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General have opened investigations into Epstein's in-custody death, per Attorney General William Barr's request.

The wealthy financier was indicted on accusations that he operated a sex trafficking ring involving dozens of sexually assaulted underage girls between at least the years of 2002 and 2005, involving his residences in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida.

Previously, Epstein had signed a secretive plea agreement that allowed him to serve just 13 months in jail out of an 18-month sentence for two counts of soliciting underage women for prostitution in Palm Beach. 

A lawyer for Epstein said in a statement that federal prosecutors and the judge overseeing Epstein's case were in part to blame for his death. US District Judge Richard Berman recently denied Epstein's request for bail, deeming him a threat to public safety, a flight risk, and a potential risk for obstruction of justice.

Epstein's accusers have said they are "angry" at his death, with one stating that she believes her opportunity for closure has been taken away from her. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

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