U.S. billionaire Epstein dies by suicide in New York jail

2019-08-10 23:32

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NEW YORK, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Jeffrey Epstein, the U.S. billionaire who was charged with sex trafficking of minors last month, was found dead by suicide in a New York jail, local media reported Saturday.

Epstein, 66, hung himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan before his body was discovered at around 7:30 a.m. (1130 GMT), sources told some local media outlets.

Epstein was accused in early July of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s. He was denied bail weeks after and would face up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

About two weeks ago, the billionaire was found unconscious in his cell with injuries on his neck, and was therefore moved to a suicide-watch unit.

The former hedge fund manager avoided federal prosecution and lengthy jail time 11 years ago on similar charges in Florida by pleading guilty.

The new indictment in July thus regenerated public outrage over Epstein and his previous trial. Former U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who negotiated Epstein's plea deal in 2008 as the then U.S. attorney in Miami, was compelled to resign last month amid the furor.

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