Prosecutors drop case against Jeffrey Epstein prison guards
The guards had been accused of falling asleep on the night Epstein killed himself
Two prison guards who admitted to falsifying records on the night Jeffrey Epstein killed himself have had the charges against them dropped by US prosecutors.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas had been indicted in November 2019, three months after Epstein was found dead in his prison cell as he awaited trial for sex crimes.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10, 2019, while awaiting trial for sex trafficking. New York City’s medical examiner determined his death a suicide.
Noel and Thomas were accused of falling asleep and surfing the internet that night rather than checking on Epstein every 30 minutes, who had been on suicide watch the month before he died.
They admitted to "wilfully and knowingly" forging documents to make it appear that they had made their rounds that night.
But on December 13, federal prosecutors have now signed a 'nolle prosequi' to drop charges against the pair, after they completed a six-month deferred prosecution agreement which started in May.
- BBC to investigate why it aired interview with Epstein’s ex-lawyer over Maxwell verdict
- Anger after BBC interview Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother pleading her innocence
- Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers speak out after guilty verdict is given
This required the former guards to complete 100 hours of community service and cooperate with federal investigators probing Epstein’s death, according to a letter from federal prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos wrote in the document: "Under the agreements, prosecution was deferred for a period of six months during the term of Noel’s and Thomas’s good behavior, completion of community service, and satisfactory compliance with the terms of the agreement.
"The United States Pretrial Services Office has informed the Government that Noel and Thomas have complied with the terms of the agreement during the period of deferral, which expired on November 20, 2021."
Prosecutors made the filing public on Thursday, saying that the pair have complied with the terms of the agreement and that the period of deferral expired on 20 November.
In a statement, via Law & Crime, Noel's lawyer Jason Foy said: "Ms. Noel is extremely grateful that we were able to convince the government and the court that the termination of criminal prosecution through a deferred prosecution agreement is in the interests of justice.
"When the conditions set forth in the deferred prosecution agreement are met, all criminal charges against Ms. Noel will be dismissed.
"Securing a resolution that eliminates both imprisonment and a criminal conviction is the favorable outcome that Ms. Noel prayed for since her arrest."
The news of the charges being dropped comes just the day after Epstein's former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking.
She faces up to 65 years behind bars.