On August 10, 2019, New York’s notorious financier Jeffrey Epstein died in a prison cell awaiting sexual trafficking charges, some of which included minors. A New York City medical examiner called Epstein’s death a suicide. Now, two prison officials who guarded Epstein that night have avoided a prison sentence when they were accused of misrepresenting the record of what they were actually doing.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas were accused of lying on prison records, claiming that they had done all the necessary investigations on Epstein while they were in the shift – later, the guards admitted that they had lied. In fact, the two guards were busy with personal extra-curricular things that prevented them from fulfilling their professional responsibilities.
We all know about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the trial of Noel and Thomas, and what happened in prison on August 10, 2019.
10 August 2019
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas were stationed just fifteen feet from Epstein’s cell during their innings as prison guards. According to court documents, despite being close to their charge, both Noel and Thomas “admitted that they intentionally and knowingly physically completed the false count and round slip”. In other words, he did not actually conduct the necessary investigation on Epstein.
His professional responsibilities require him to check on the prisoner every thirty minutes. Prosecutors alleged that instead of doing so, the couple were shopping on the Internet for furniture and motorcycles. At one time throughout the night, for about two hours, both Noel and Thomas were sleeping.
Despite their gross negligence, both Noel and Thomas have avoided their own prison sentences, pleading guilty to the charges. Federal prosecutors told Judge Analisa Torres in a letter filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that the individuals were sentenced to 100 hours of community service “preferably in an area related to the criminal justice system.”
He should also cooperate in an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that will review the circumstances of Epstein’s death in 2019 “by providing true information related to his employment by the Bureau of Prisons”, court documents revealed.
It is presumed that if the couple complies with the stipulated conditions in the deal, prosecutors will drop their pending criminal case against them, including charges of conspiracy and filing false records. Failure to follow the order will result in criminal prosecution. The plea deal, which has already been approved by the Federal Pretrial Services Division, also needs to be approved by a judge. It is expected next week.
Shedding light on federal prison services
Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska called it “a slap in the face of Epstein’s victims” against the deal. The senator, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, claimed that when it comes to the cases dealing with Jeffrey Epstein’s case, it was another example of the US Department of Justice “re-embarrassing itself”.
“A hundred hours of community service is a joke – it’s not a traffic court”, he said. “The leader of an international child sex trafficking ring escapes justice, his co-conspirators carry their secrets with him to the grave, and these guards are picking up trash on the side of the road.”
The incident highlighted some major flaws with the federal prison services, which currently suffer from major security and staffing problems. At the time of Jeffrey Epstein’s death, the jail under consideration was dealing with chronic staff shortages, resulting in the guards on service requiring him to work mandatory overtime on consecutive days.
Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and partner-in-crime, Ghisleen Maxwell, also sits in a New York jail awaiting trial on charges related to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. Watch this space for more information.
Do you think the plea deal is satisfactory? Tell us in the comments.