JEFFREY Epstein has been placed on suicide watch after being found unconscious ahead of his trial for sex trafficking dozens of underage girls, it has been reported.
The disgraced financier – a former friend of Prince Andrew – was reportedly discovered in the fetal position with injuries to his neck in his cell at a New York jail.
The 66-year-old may have have tried to hang himself in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, NBC4 reported.
Sources at the jail told the station he has now been put on suicide watch.
The possibility that Epstein may have been assaulted by another inmate is also being investigated and one of his fellow prisoners is being questioned.
It was reported the prisoner being questioned is Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer who was arrested in December 2016 and is accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy.
He said to have claimed he didn't see anything happen to Epstein and didn't harm him.
According to reports, screams were heard and prison staff were seen rushing through the corridors at 1.30am local time on July 24.
Epstein was taken to hospital, the New York Post reported, but it was unclear where he was taken or what his condition was.
He has been locked up in the Manhattan jail ahead of a trial for charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls.
The sex offender, who has pleaded not guilty, wanted to be allowed to remain under house arrest in his £60million Manhattan mansion.
But he was branded a "danger to the community" and judges refused his bail bid.
The shamed financier – nabbed this month with a fake passport – was locked up amid fears he would flee the country.
His lawyers put up his mansion and private jet as surety, but prosecutors claimed he would try to escape.
Epstein is set to remain behind bars in the tough jail – which El Chapo has also called home – until his trial.
Sex trafficking evidence against the wealthy financier are said to be growing "stronger by the day".
He was caught with piles of cash and a fake Saudi passport in his New York mansion after it was raided by the FBI.
Assistant US Attorney Alex Rossmiller noted the fake passport had only recently expired according to Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld.
The passport, revealed to be one of the items found in the search, also listed Epstein's residence as being in Saudi Arabia, said Rossmiller.
The passport, obtained by Epstein from a foreign government in the 1980s, is said to have his photo in it but under a different name, prosecutors revealed in court.
Judge Richard Berman ordered Epstein to remain behind bars on sex trafficking charges at the Manhattan Correctional Centre.
He said: "The government has established danger to others and to the community by clear and convincing evidence.
"I doubt that any bail package can overcome a danger to the community."
Prosecutor Sigrid McCawley said the current claims were "just the tip of the iceberg" and boasted that she had signed up four new clients since the perv's latest arrest.
Epstein's legal team pleaded with the judge to let him out of jail after saying he is held in solitary confinement.
His lawyers said: "We need him released, judge. This is an enormously challenging case for defence counsel."
In their rebuttal, prosecutors said: "Your honour, it's underage girls that are involved in this case, and it's underage girls that are the victims."
A prosecutor added that the case against the wealthy investor is “already significantly stronger and getting stronger every single day”.
'VAST ABUSE NETWORK'
Epstein is accused of "sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of minor girls" at his homes in various locations.
Documents claim the Epstein would pay girls "hundreds of dollars" to perform sex acts with him and would also pay certain victims "to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused."
The indictment states: "In this way, Epstein created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit in locations including New York and Palm Beach."
It alleges that minors were paid to give the wealthy businessman massages which would typically involve him pleasuring himself.
The charges also claim officers found "nude photographs of what appeared to be underage girls" at his mansion.
Epstein would also sometimes attempt to touch the girls' genitals with his hands or sex toys, the court docs allege.
14 MORE ALLEGED VICTIMS
At least 14 more women, some of them underage, have come forward claiming to be victims of the wealthy alleged sex trafficker.
Attorney Jack Scarola said some were underage during their alleged encounters with the financier in New York and Florida.
Prosecutors have also alleged that Epstein tried to pay off witnesses with a £280,000 bribe to buy their silence.
Epstein reportedly sent two witnesses money in late November and early December 2018 after a US paper started publishing allegations against the registered sex offender.
EPSTEIN'S ISLAND PROBED
Epstein's private Caribbean island has become the centre of a sex trafficking probe against him, amid claims underage girls were used as sex slaves and repeatedly abused inside a temple there.
The billionaire bought the island of Little St James more than two decades ago – transforming it into a high-security private oasis, complete with a mansion and a bizarre blue and white gold-domed structure.
To date, the island has remained Epstein’s main residence, but has been shrouded in mystery.
It's high security, secluded location and locally-known moniker as "Paedophile Island" has given rise to more sinister theories about its use.
Neighbouring islander Kevin Goodrich, who operates boat charters from nearby St Thomas, said: “Everybody called it ‘Paedophile Island' … It’s our dark corner.”
Timeline of the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein
The allegations against him go back to the 2000s
2005 – Parents of a 14-year-old girl told police in Florida that Epstein had molested their daughter at his Palm Beach home. A police search of the property found photos of girls throughout the house.
2006 – Charged with multiple counts of unlawful sexual acts with a minor.
2007 – Epstein’s lawyers put together a plea deal for Epstein, who was the 54.
He agreed to plead guilty to two felony prostitution charges in state court,
In exchange, he and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for life.
2008 – Appears in court to plead guilty on two lesser counts and sentenced to a 18 months in jail and was released early in 2009
July 2019 – Arrested charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Prosecutors accused him in a grand jury indictment of paying dozens of girls as young as 14 to engage in sex acts with him at his New York and Florida properties from 2002 to 2005.
Pleaded not guilty and could face up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
More than a dozen women have now come forward with more sex abuse allegations
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