Jeffrey Epstein, the U.S. financier facing federal sex trafficking charges, hanged himself on Friday night in his lower Manhattan jail cell, several U.S. media outlets reported on Saturday.
Epstein, 66, who was arrested on July 6, had pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14, from at least 2002 to 2005. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
The charges were announced more than a decade after Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges in Florida.
A woman who accused Epstein of keeping her as a sex slave said one of the financier's associates had instructed her to have sex with at least a half-dozen prominent men, according to a court filing unsealed on Friday in a civil lawsuit.
Last month, Epstein was found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck, media outlets reported, citing unidentified sources.
Epstein was confined in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan while he appealed a district judge's refusal to let him live under 24-hour guard in his home on the Upper East Side.
© Thomson Reuters 2019 All rights reserved.
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