Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, died by suicide in his New York jail cell, according to three unnamed law enforcement officials.
He has been awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges, accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s.
A judge denied him bail, ruling that he might leave the country if released. The judge also said Epstein was a danger to the public because of his “uncontrollable” urges to engage in sexual conduct with underage girls.
Epstein was indicted on federal charges in New York this month more than a decade after he secretly struck a deal with federal prosecutors in Florida to dispose of similar charges of large-scale sex trafficking. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution and served 13 months behind bars.
Federal prosecutors in New York reopened the probe after investigative reporting by The Miami Herald stirred outrage over the plea bargain.
Epstein’s lawyers have said he hadn’t had any illicit contact with underage girls since serving his sentence in Florida. They said the current charges were improper because the government reneged on the deal not to prosecute him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Check back for updates on this developing story as we learn more.