New York judge dismisses case against Epstein jail guards who allegedly slept through his suicide

Maxwell found guilty of aiding Epstein sex abuse

Fox News Contributor Jonathan Turley reacts to the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking case reaching a guilty verdict on ‘Special Report.’

Two New York City jail guards who allegedly slept through Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide are officially off the hook after a judge signed off on their non-prosecution agreement Monday. 

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas reached a deal with prosecutors last May to serve 100 hours of community service over a six-month period. 

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres officially dismissed the case on Monday after the pair completed the terms of that agreement. 

The prison workers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were accused of sleeping and browsing the internet instead of monitoring Epstein the night he took his own life in August 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

Epstein was arrested July 6, 2019, on federal sex-trafficking charges and was put on suicide watch two weeks later after he was found in his jail cell with a strip of bedsheets around his neck. Then on Aug. 10, Epstein committed suicide by hanging, a New York City medical examiner ruled. 

Just 15 feet from Epstein’s jail cell, Tova and Noel browsed the internet and slept instead of making their rounds every half-hour, prosecutors wrote in the original indictment. 

This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein.  (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)

Thomas told a supervisor that the pair “messed up” upon finding Epstein unresponsive, adding, “I messed up, she’s not to blame, we didn’t do any rounds,” according to the indictment. 

As part of the non-prosecution agreement, the guards “admitted that they ‘willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips.'”

The Metropolitan Correctional Center where Thomas and Noel worked was chronically understaffed. One of them was working their fifth straight day of overtime, while the other was working their second shift that day. 

Jason Foy, an attorney for Noel, called the prosecution “an attempt to criminalize deficiencies in work performance in a manner that has never been done before in the Southern District of New York,” adding that his client cooperated with the government in its investigation. 

“She shared the information known to her at the time of Jeffrey Epstein’s death and more importantly, provided truthful insight into the toxic culture, subpar training, staffing shortages, and dysfunctional management of the now closed Metropolitan Correctional Center,” Foy said in a statement after the charges were dropped on Monday. 

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in exhibit photos.
(Exhibit photos)

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted last week on five counts of trafficking young girls to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein. 

“A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable – facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Damian Williams said after the conviction. “Crimes that she committed with her long-time partner and co-conspirator, Jeffrey Epstein.”

Fox News’s Marta Dhanis contributed to this report, as well as the Associated Press. 

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