Surveillance footage from outside Jeffrey Epstein's jail cell at the
time of his first attempt at suicide wasn't preserved, federal
prosecutors said in a court filing Thursday.
The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said prosecutors asked the
Metropolitan Correctional Center to preserve the video footage dated
July 22-23. After reviewing the footage, prosecutors said they realized
the MCC "inadvertently preserved video from the wrong tier" within the
As a result of the apparent mistake, the actual footage in question "no longer exists."
Prosecutors began investigating conditions at MCC and the circumstances
of Epstein's first suspected suicide attempt after he killed himself
Aug. 10 in his jail cell.
"The government understands from speaking with MCC legal counsel that
there was a backup system in place that housed all video for the Special
Housing Unit, including the video requested by defense counsel," U.S.
Attorney Geoffrey German said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Kenneth
"The government further understands from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation that it has reviewed that backup system as part of an
unrelated investigation and determined that the requested video no
longer exists on the backup system and has not since at least August
2019 as a result of technical errors."
The court filing was part of a case involving former Westchester County
police officer Nicholas Tartaglione, who shared a jail cell with Epstein
on the day of his first suicide attempt. Epstein was found
semiconscious in his cell with marks on his neck July 23; Tartaglione
was cleared of any wrongdoing for that incident.
Epstein was arrested in July as part of a joint New York City Police
Department-FBI investigation and he was charged with one count each of
sex trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded not guilty.
The millionaire financier, who was forced to register as a sex offender
in Florida for a 2008 conviction, was accused of giving girls "hundreds
of dollars in cash" to engage in sexual acts at his mansions in
Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla., and sometimes paid victims to recruit
other victims. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
said the reported incidents occurred between 2002 and 2005.
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