Several news outlets, including USA Today, the New York Times, and the New York Post, are citing sources with direct knowledge of the investigation who state the guards are accused of falsifying prison records at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Epstein is said to have died by suicide in early August.
Federal investigators allege the guards failed to conduct regular safety checks on the accused sex trafficker, who had been placed on suicide watch after a previous failed suicide attempt.
Epstein, 66, was allegedly found hanging in his prison cell almost a month after he was arrested for allegedly sex-trafficking girls as young as 14.
Epstein was taken from his jail cell the morning he was discovered in full cardiac arrest, and was later pronounced dead at a New York City hospital.
The guards’ names have not yet been publicized.
A representative at the Bureau of Prisons and the Metropolitan Correctional Center could not immediately be reached for comment.
Epstein, who was awaiting trial in 2020, was being held after U.S. District Judge Richard Berman determined he was a flight risk and a potential danger to the community.
In July, PEOPLE confirmed that Epstein, who had high-profile connections in the business and political worlds, was accused of sex-trafficking girls as young as 14 years old.
The businessman had been charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. He was facing a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison if convicted.
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According to a federal indictment unsealed on July 8, Epstein “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes.” The alleged incidents occurred in several locations, including Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida. The indictment alleges Epstein paid some victims to recruit additional victims. The indictment alleges that Epstein would begin his illegal sexual encounters with a “massage” before he would “escalate the nature and scope of physical contact with his victim.”
He was arrested July 6 after his private jet arrived from France, and he pleaded not guilty in a New York courtroom just two days later.
In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to soliciting a person under 18 for prostitution and was sentenced to 13 months in jail. He ended up serving much of the time in work release at his office in Palm Beach.