Guards at the New York City jail facility where Jeffrey Epstein is said to have killed himself are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on the alleged sex trafficker and other inmates with greater regularity than was the case, according to a Tuesday report.
Surveillance video reviewed after Epstein’s death shows guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center did not make some of the checks they claimed to have made in their logs, a source told the Associated Press. The New York Times reported, citing unnamed officials, that the guards fell asleep at some point and did not check on him for up to three hours.
The federal jail workers claimed they were checking on inmates in Epstein’s unit every half hour, but investigators now believe that was not the case. The Justice Department on Tuesday said that two guards assigned to watch Epstein had been placed on administrative leave.
The latest revelation, first reported by CBS News, comes amid growing conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein's death as he awaited trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors said he sexually abused dozens of young girls in his New York and Florida residences between 2002 and 2005, allegations that could have landed him behind bars for 45 years.
The 66-year-old disgraced financier was found hanging in his cell on Saturday after using a bedsheet tied to his bunk. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Many lawmakers and conspiracy theorists alike wonder how he could commit suicide inside the Special Housing Unit at the jail facility. Attorney General William Barr said Monday there were "serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning," and said he was demanding "a thorough investigation.”
In the aftermath of Epstein's apparent suicide, his alleged "recruiter" Ghislaine Maxwell now finds herself under the microscope.
Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has vowed to continue the investigation into Epstein, who, at the time of his death, was in a New York facility awaiting trial on allegations he operated an underage sex trafficking ring. And even though Epstein is now firmly outside the grip of the criminal justice system, his alleged “co-conspirators” do not enjoy a similar reprieve.
Several of Epstein’s accusers have pointed to Maxwell as playing a pivotal role in enlisting his victims, according to thousands of pages of court documents unsealed on Friday -- just hours before Epstein reportedly used his bedsheet to hang himself from a prison bunk -- in relation to a 2015 defamation suit filed against Maxwell.
Those who say they're victims of Epstein and other eyewitnesses to the events surrounding his alleged crimes, have testified Maxwell's role was in arranging massages and sexual favors for Epstein and a circle of his high-profile associates.
But Maxwell allegedly played an even more direct role in the sex abuse on several occasions.
Maxwell and Epstein were accused of molesting two victims in 1996 but the claims -- allegedly reported to the FBI -- fell on deaf ears, according to an affidavit viewed by the Miami Herald.
Maxwell has not released any public statements since Epstein’s arrest in early July. No criminal charges have been brought against her and she has consistently and vehemently denied all allegations of misconduct.
Fox News' Paulina Dedaj and Hollie McKay contributed to this report.