【大发快3平台_大发快3代理官网】Alleged sex offender Epstein removed from suicide watch before his death

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- A psychologist at the federal detention center in New York City where alleged sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was being held approved Epstein's removal from suicide watch prior to his death, according to the U.S. Justice Department Friday.

A letter dated Thursday from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd disclosed it, and confirmed that Epstein had been placed on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in July, which means that he was under "special observation status."

While after the evaluation by a psychologist, who decided that "a suicide watch was no longer warranted," Epstein was removed from suicide watch.

The disgraced financier was found dead by suicide in his jail cell at the center on Aug. 10, which triggered investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Epstein, 66, was accused in early July of sexually exploitation, prostitution and abuse of dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s. He was denied bail weeks after and would face up to 45 years in prison if convicted. His clientele was allegedly involved dozens of billionaires.

Federal prosecutors said the former hedge fund manager had lured those girls to his homes in New York and Florida, among other places, and paid them for sex.

According to U.S. media reports, Epstein was previously convicted on similar charges some 11 years ago in Florida. He avoided federal prosecution and was thus spared from a lengthy jail time by pleading guilty to state charges under a plea deal. He stayed 13 months in a county jail and was allowed to go to his office during the day.