According to legal filings, two New York City corrections officers who were on board while convicted sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein died in prison in 2019 led to a plea bargain with prosecutors.
Toval Noel and Michael Thomas will have their charges dropped in exchange for six months of probation and 100 hours of community service, according to a letter filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday. The two former guards must now assist with an investigation into Epstein’s death by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.
The letter, signed by U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, says Noel and Thomas admitted they “willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding” their monitoring of Epstein and other prisoners in the Manhattan Correctional Center.
Prosecutors said they fell asleep and used the Internet on the overnight shift of Aug. 10. Epstein, who faced trial for sex trafficking, was later found hanged.
Guards were supposed to perform headcount of prisoners every 30 minutes, but their indictments said the guards “never conducted such counts” on the night of his death.
Epstein had previously been placed on suicide watch, due to injuries found to his neck while in custody.
The court must approve the agreement between the defendants and prosecutors.