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Federal prosecutors quietly dropped their criminal case against two Manhattan jail guards tasked with protecting Jeffrey Epstein the night he committed suicide amid the highly publicized trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.
The two Bureau of Prisons workers had admitted to falsifying records, falling asleep, and surfing the internet that night of Aug. 10, 2019, rather than conducting round checks at Epstein every 30 minutes.
In a filing Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel, 33, and Michael Thomas, 43, after they both complied with the six-month jail-free agreement. they agreed in May.
Prosecutors’ nolle prosequi notice, that is, not wanting to prosecute, was filed on December 13, but the document did not appear in the court’s public record until Thursday, a day after a jury found Maxwell guilty. of five of the six counts of s*x trafficking. she faced.
They both admitted to having records “deliberately and knowingly” falsified to make it appear they were monitoring Epstein properly.
Their deferred prosecution agreements required each to perform 100 hours of community service and cooperate with a federal investigation into Epstein’s death.
A public hearing for Noel and Thomas had been scheduled for December 16, but was suddenly canceled on December 15.
According to the legal notice released just one day after Maxwell was convicted of s*x trafficking, Noel and Thomas “satisfactorily met” the terms of the non-prosecution agreement and completed community service.
Epstein was found hanged in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2019, while awaiting trial for s*x trafficking.
William Barr, the US Attorney General at the time, had been angered that such a high-profile inmate was able to commit suicide while in federal custody.
Epstein had been on suicide watch after he was found on July 23, 2019 on the floor of his cell with bruises on his neck. He was removed from suicide watch about a week before his death, which meant he was being watched less closely, but he was supposed to be checked every 30 minutes.
According to a 2019 indictment, Noel and Thomas were falling asleep and surfing
According to a 2019 indictment, Noel and Thomas were falling asleep and surfing the internet instead of conducting mandatory checks on Epstein’s cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, the night he committed suicide.
After the high-profile inmate was discovered dead at 6.30 a.m., officers allegedly told a supervisor they had ‘screwed up’ and ‘did not do any checks’ in the hours before committing suicide.
The two guards were required to jointly conduct institutional counts at 4 pm, 10 pm, 12 am, 3 am, and 5 am of the prisoners in the unit.
Noel had started his employment with the Bureau of Prisons as a correctional officer at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in June 2018.
A veteran, she spent six years in the National Guard. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in law from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Before joining the Federal Bureau of Prisons, she was a mail handling assistant for the US Postal Service for about a year.
Thomas began working with the Bureau of Prisons on April 1, 2007 and had held her current position as a materials handling supervisor at the Metropolitan Correctional Center since April 20, 2014.
The Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center closed in September
The staffing shortage at the agency was so severe that guards often worked overtime day after day or were forced to work mandatory double shifts.
The Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center closed in September.
Maxwell, who is now awaiting sentencing following the jury’s verdict on Wednesday, has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since July 2020.
No date has yet been set for Maxwell’s sentencing and last night she returned to her cell at the infamous MDC that she has repeatedly complained about, calling it a ‘living hell’ where she has been ‘assaulted and abused’.
Maxwell, the jet-set daughter of a wealthy British newspaper mogul; A glamorous society girl who mingled with former presidents, billionaires and royalty, she complained that the treatment of her at the MDC amounted to torture.
Her family wanted to take the case to the United Nations, claiming that she was subjected to inhumane treatment: she was fed rotten food, kept in excessive hot and cold conditions, and she lived in a cell flooded with sewage without try.
Justin Paperny, a federal prison consultant, said that wherever she ends up next, she will usher in a significantly improved phase in her incarceration.
“Her life in her prison will not drastically improve until she is sentenced,” Paperny told DailyMail.com.
‘She is enduring a difficult situation in Brooklyn.
“It is a very difficult place to serve a sentence.”
Another prison expert told The Times that her new situation would be “like Disneyland” in comparison.
Paperny said the MDC had been infamous long before Maxwell set foot there.
In the winter of 2019, power and heating failed, sparking outrage among the families of 1,636 prisoners and women, and among activists.
The Bureau of Prisons suppressed a scathing report on conditions inside the jail commissioned in the wake of the aftermath as of July this year, and the jail was described as violent, dirty, overcrowded and decrepit.
Paperny said the difference between the MDC and his post-sentencing prison will be stark.
“Once she gets to jail, she will feel like she won the lottery,” he said.
Tova Noel Quick and Facts
- In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel, 33 and Michael Thomas, 43
- They both complied with the six-month no-jail deal they agreed to in May, and completed community service, according to the filing
- Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, while awaiting trial for s*x trafficking
- The Bureau of Prisons workers admitted to falsifying records, falling asleep and surfing the internet rather than doing round checks on Epstein every 30 minutes
- Noel and Thomas had been scheduled for a public hearing on December 16, but it was suddenly canceled on December 15
- The prosecutors’ notice was filed on December 13, but the document was not made public until Thursday, a day after a jury found Maxwell guilty
- If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local branch. See www.samaritans.org for details