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Federal prosecutors quietly dropped their criminal case against two Manhattan jail guards tasked with protecting Jeffrey Epstein the night he committed suicide amid the highly publicized trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.
The two Bureau of Prisons workers had admitted to falsifying records, falling asleep and surfing the internet that night of Aug. 10, 2019, rather than conducting patrol checks at Epstein every 30 minutes.
In a filing Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the charges against Tova Noel, 33, and Michael Thomas, 43, after they both served a six-month jail-free agreement. . They agreed in May.
On December 13, the prosecutors’ notice of nolle prosequi, that is, not wanting to prosecute, was filed, but the document did not appear in the court’s public record until Thursday, a day after a jury found Maxwell guilty. of five of the six counts of s*x trafficking. she faced.
They both admitted to “deliberately and knowingly” falsifying records to make it appear they were monitoring Epstein adequately.
Their deferred processing agreements required each to perform 100 hours of community service and cooperate with a federal investigation into Epstein’s death.
A public hearing for Noel and Thomas had been scheduled for December 16, but was suddenly canceled on December 15.
According to the legal notice published
According to the legal notice published just one day after Maxwell was convicted of s*x trafficking, Noel and Thomas “satisfactorily fulfilled” the terms of the non-prosecution agreement and completed community service.
Epstein was found hanged in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2019, while awaiting trial for s*x trafficking.
William Barr, the United States Attorney General at the time, had been angered that such a high-profile inmate could commit suicide while he was in federal custody.
Epstein had been on suicide watch after he was found on July 23, 2019 on the floor of his cell with bruises on his neck. He was removed from suicide watch about a week before his death, which meant he was being watched less closely, but he was supposed to be examined every 30 minutes.
Epstein, who had been on suicide watch for a month, was found hanged in his cell awaiting trial for s*x trafficking on August 10, 2019. The New York City medical examiner officially ruled that the high-profile death was a suicide.
Thomas’s attorney, Montell Figgins, said his client is satisfied with the firing and is happy to put the incident behind him.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime partner in crime, was convicted Wednesday night of recruiting and grooming underage girls for Epstein for years.
She was found guilty on nearly all counts, including child s*x trafficking, the main count carrying a maximum sentence of 40 years, possibly sentencing the heir to life in prison.
Maxwell is expected to appeal the verdict.
Tova Noel Quick and Facts
- In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel, 33 and Michael Thomas, 43
- They both complied with the six-month no-jail deal they agreed to in May, and completed community service, according to the filing
- Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, while awaiting trial for s*x trafficking
- The Bureau of Prisons workers admitted to falsifying records, falling asleep and surfing the internet rather than doing round checks on Epstein every 30 minutes
- Noel and Thomas had been scheduled for a public hearing on December 16, but it was suddenly canceled on December 15
- The prosecutors’ notice was filed on December 13, but the document was not made public until Thursday, a day after a jury found Maxwell guilty
- If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local branch. See www.samaritans.org for details