New York City officials are investigating after accused child rapist Jeffrey Epstein was found injured and semi-conscious in his Manhattan jail cell this week, raising questions of whether Epstein attempted suicide or was assaulted by a fellow inmate, NBC 4 reported on Wednesday night.
Epstein, who is currently awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, was discovered in his cell on Tuesday curled in the fetal position with marks around his neck, the New York Post reported. It is currently unclear if Epstein himself is responsible for the injuries or if he was assaulted by a fellow inmate.
A source told NBC 4 that an inmate identified as former police officer Nicholas Tartaglione had been questioned but insisted he had nothing to do with Epstein’s injuries. Tartaglione is accused of killing and burying four people involved in a drug ring he allegedly operated outside New York City in 2016. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in their case against him.
Tartaglione’s attorney Bruce Barket confirmed to NBC that the pair “are in the same unit” but that the allegation his client assaulted Epstein is “absolutely not true.”
A fourth source cautioned NBC that Epstein himself may have staged the attack, claiming the injuries are not serious and suggesting Epstein may have be hoping to be relocated to a different facility.
Epstein’s injuries come one week after a federal judge denied bail for the alleged pedophile ahead of his upcoming trial, claiming prosecutors clearly proved he was an “established danger to others and to the community.” Epstein had argued he should await trial in his posh Manhattan townhome, which investigators reported was full of bizarre oddities, including a mural painting of himself in prison.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.