In a Manhattan federal court order made public Thursday, prosecutor Damian Williams signed
abandonment of prosecution (
nolle prosequi according to the established legal formula) against Tova Noel and Michael Thomas.
Justice indicted in November 2019 these two guards of a New York prison, three months after Epstein’s death by hanging in his cell on August 10, before his trial for sex crimes.
The two prison officers were accused of not having made their rounds of surveillance on the night of August 9 to 10, 2019 and of having remained at their office, riveted on the Internet. Mr. Epstein, a multimillionaire financier of the American and international jet set, was found dead at dawn on August 10 and the autopsy had concluded a suicide by hanging, not without controversy and conspiracy theories.
The then American Minister of Justice, William Barr, had denounced
serious dysfunctions in this reputedly safe prison, where Epstein had been detained since his arrest in July 2019 and prosecuted for sex crimes, in particular against young girls.
In his filing order, the Manhattan district attorney recalls that the two guards had
documents to make it look like they had done their rounds that night.
At the time, the director of the prison, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, had been transferred and the two officers suspended. As part of their agreement with justice, MM. Noel and Thomas were simply forced to do community service, according to the ordinance.
On Wednesday evening, the former companion and accomplice of Epstein, the former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty by the Manhattan federal court of a series of sex crimes, including the trafficking of underage girls between 1994 and 2004 , for the benefit of Epstein.
Ms Maxwell, 60, also French and American, faces decades in prison, but a sentencing date has not yet been set.
His lawyers have said they will appeal, but the victims of the Maxwell-Epstein couple have expressed relief at a verdict that tends to prove that
no one is above the law.