Jeffrey Epstein’s guards, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, are accused of sleeping and scrolling the web while on duty, leaving Epstein alone long enough to commit suicide. The Bureau of Prisons workers were tasked with guarding Epstein in his maximum-security prison and were required to make rounds every 30 minutes.
Both Noel and Thomas admitted to falsifying records but will avoid jail time because of a deal made with federal prosecutors. The guards lied about their whereabouts on the August 2019 night when Jeffrey Epstein, a notorious child predator, killed himself before standing trial. Epstein was expected to reveal key details about his alleged sex trafficking and private island where he sexually abused underage girls.
Jeffrey Epstein’s guards were charged with lying on prison records, stating that they made the required rounds to his cell every 30 minutes, but were instead shopping for clothes online and sleeping. The deal made with prosecutors will require them to complete 100 hours of community service and cooperate with an ongoing probe by the Justice Department. In exchange, Noel and Thomas will defer prosecution and serve no time in jail. They will be subjected to a supervised release.
The guards “admitted that they ‘willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding required counts and rounds,’” according to a letter from federal prosecutors. The deal must be approved by a judge which is expected to happen sometime next week.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss wrote to Federal Judge Analisa Torres that “after a thorough investigation, and based on the facts of this case and the personal circumstances of the defendants, the Government has determined that the interests of justice will best be served by deferring prosecution in this District.”
The deal could help shed light on the events that occurred the night of Epstein’s suicide. A poll done in 2019 revealed that only one-third of Americans accept that the nature of Epstein’s death was accurately reported. Some connected to the case, however, are against the deal provided by the prosecution.
Senator Ben Sasse is one such individual and has been particularly outspoken. The Republican member of the Senate Judiciary committee critiqued the Justice Department’s handling of Epstein’s case. He said the deal offered to Tova Noel and Michael Thomas is “unacceptable.”
“One hundred hours of community service is a joke — this isn’t traffic court,” Sasse said. “The leader of an international child sex trafficking ring escaped justice, his co-conspirators had their secrets go to the grave with him, and these guards are going to be picking up trash on the side of the road.”
According to a report, both Noel and Thomas sat 15 feet from Epstein’s cell and were unaware that he committed suicide. Though they were required to make rounds every 30 minutes, the indictment file claimed they were asleep for two hours during their shifts.
The guards were working overtime due to staff shortages. For one of the guards, it was the fifth day of overtime in a row.
Many continue to resent the events leading up to Epstein’s apparent suicide. The registered sex offender was able to kill himself while behind bars at one of the most secure jails in America. This was an embarrassment for the Bureau of Prisons and revealed the weaknesses of the agency.