Federal prosecutors quietly announce they have DROPPED their case against Jeffrey Epstein’s jail guards, one day AFTER Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict
Federal prosecutors quietly dropped their criminal case against two Manhattan jail guards tasked with guarding Jeffrey Epstein the night he killed himself amid the highly publicized trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.
The two Bureau of Prisons workers had admitted to falsifying records, falling asleep and browsing the internet on that August 10, 2019 nag, rather than doing round checks on Epstein every 30 minute.
In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel, 33 and Michael Thomas, 43, after both complied with the six-month no-jail deal they agreed to in May.
The prosecutors’ nolle prosequi, meaning not to wish to prosecute, notice was filed on December 13, but the document did not appear on the court’s public record until Thursday, a day after a jury found Maxwell guilty on five of the six sex trafficking counts she faced.
Both admitted to having ‘willfully and knowingly’ falsified records to make it seem they were monitoring Epstein properly.
Their deferred prosecution agreements required that they each perform 100 hours of community service and cooperate with a federal probe arising from Epstein’s death.
In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel, 33 (links) and Michael Thomas, 43, (reg) after both complied with the six-month no-jail deal they agreed to in May
Jeffrey Epstein’s cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Manhattan
After they discovered Epstein dead, the officers allegedly told a supervisor they had ‘messed up’ and ‘didn’t do any checks’ in the hours before he killed himself
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2019, while awaiting trial for sex trafficking
Noel and Thomas had been scheduled for a public hearing on December 16, but it was suddenly canceled on December 15.
According to the legal notice made public just a day after Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking, Noel and Thomas ‘satisfactorily complied’ with the terms of the non-prosecution agreement and completed community service.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2019, while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
William Barr, the US attorney general at the time, had been angered that such a high-profile inmate was able to kill himself while in federal custody.
Epstein had been on suicide watch after he was found July 23, 2019, on his cell floor with bruises on his neck. He was taken off suicide watch about a week before his death, which meant he was less closely monitored but still supposed to be checked on every 30 minute.
WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES
Maxwell is seen in 2005 met Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in jail in July 2019 while he was supposed to be under close watch
Photos of Jeffrey Epstein’s dead body, his cell and the noose he used to take his own life
After they discovered the high-profile inmate dead at 6.30am, the officers allegedly told a supervisor they had ‘messed up’ and ‘didn’t do any checks’ in the hours before he killed himself
The two guards were allegedly shopping online for furniture and napping instead of checking on the millionaire pedophile in his jail cell just 15 feet away from them
Volgens 'n 2019 indictment, Noel and Thomas were falling asleep and surfing the internet instead of performing mandatory checks on Epstein’s cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, the night he killed himself.
After they discovered the high-profile inmate dead at 6.30am, the officers allegedly told a supervisor they had ‘messed up’ and ‘didn’t do any checks’ in the hours before he killed himself.
The two guards were required to jointly conduct institutional counts at 4pm, 10pm, 12is, 3am and 5am of the prisoners in the unit.
Noel had began her employment with the Bureau of Prisons as a corrections officer at the Metropolitan Corrections Center in June 2018.
A veteran, she spent six years in the National Guard. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Law from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Prior to joining the federal Bureau of Prisons, she was an assistant mail handler for the US Postal Service for around a year.
Thomas began working with the Bureau of Prisons on April 1, 2007 and had held his current position as material handler supervisor at Metropolitan Correctional Center since April 20, 2014.
View of Metropolitan Correctional Center where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide on August 10, 2019. The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan was closed in September
Michael Thomas and Tova Noel appear on charges they falsely certified to having conducted inmate counts during Jeffrey Epstein’s final hours at the Federal Court in New York City, New York, VS, November 25, 2019
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, op die foto, in downtown Manhattan
Epstein’s death and the revelation that he was able to kill himself while behind bars at one of the most secure jails in America was a major embarrassment for the Bureau of Prisons and cast a spotlight on the agency, which has also been besieged by serious misconduct in recent years.
Noel and Thomas 2019 indictment
- The indictment followed surveillance footage which showed the guards as they sat at their desks, browsed online and moved about the common area for a substantial portion of their shift instead of completing the required checks.
- Noel and Thomas allegedly appeared to be asleep at their desks for about two hours.
- Noel used her computer to search for furniture sales and benefit websites during her shift.
- Thomas allegedly searched online for motorcycle sales and sports news briefly at 1am, 4am and 6am.
- The pair were only 15ft away from Epstein when he died.
- They found him dead when they went to serve him breakfast at 6.30am. The last time they checked on him was at 10.30pm the night before.
- Noel allegedly told a supervisor: ‘We did not complete the 3am and 5am rounds’.
- Thomas added: ‘Ons het deurmekaar geraak’ and ‘I messed up, she’s not to blame, we didn’t do any rounds’.
Staffing shortages at the agency were so severe that guards often worked overtime day after day or are forced to work mandatory double shifts.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan was closed in September.
Maxwell, who now awaits sentencing after the jury’s verdict on Wednesday, has been kept in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since July 2020.
A date for Maxwell’s sentencing has not yet been set and last night she returned to her cell at the infamous MDC which she has repeatedly complained about, calling it a ‘living hell’ where she has been ‘assaulted and abused.’
Maxwell – the jet-setting daughter of a wealthy British newspaper tycoon; a glamorous society darling who mingled with former presidents, billionaires and royals – complained that her treatment in the MDC amounted to torture.
Her family wanted to take the case to the United Nations, claiming that she was subjected to inhumane treatment – fed rotten food, kept in excessively hot and cold conditions, and living in a cell that flooded with raw sewage.
Justin Paperny, a federal prison consultant, said that wherever she ends up next, it will mark the beginning of a significantly improved phase in her incarceration.
‘Her prison life won’t dramatically improve until she is sentenced,’ Paperny told DailyMail.com.
‘She’s enduring a difficult situation in Brooklyn.
‘It’s a very difficult place to serve time.’
Another prison expert told Die tye her new situation would be ‘like Disneyland’ ter vergelyking.
Paperny said the MDC had been infamous long before Maxwell set foot there.
In the winter of 2019, the power and heating failed, leading to outrage among relatives of 1,636 male and female inmates, and among activists.
A scathing report into conditions inside the jail commissioned in the aftermath was suppressed by the Bureau of Prisons until July this year, and the jail was described as violent, filthy, overcrowded and decrepit.
Paperny said the difference between the MDC and her post-sentencing prison will be stark.
‘Once she reaches prison she’ll feel like she’s won the lottery,’ hy het gesê.
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.
Vir vertroulike ondersteuning, roep die Samaritane aan 116123 or visit a local branch. Sien www.samaritans.org vir meer inligting.
Ghislaine Maxwell is seen in a photo submitted by her lawyer in April, with a black eye – which they argued showed she was being abused in jail (links). And in a court sketch as the guilty verdicts are read out
Maxwell is currently being held at the MDC in Brooklyn, in conditions which her lawyers and family say amount to torture