U.S. prosecutors said charges against Jeffrey Epstein should be dropped due to his death. Photo courtesy of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice
Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have asked the judge in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case to drop charges against the multimillionaire more than a week after he killed himself in jail.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York filed a motion Monday saying that though it seeks to quash the case, the office "remains committed to doing its upmost to stand up for the victims who have already come forward, as well as for the many others who have yet to do so."
Epstein faced charges of sex trafficking minor girls and potentially could have named high-profile people who had sex with the girls. He was accused of abusing dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005.
Before he could face trial on the charges, though, he killed himself in his jail cell at Manhattan Correctional Center on Aug. 10.
On the day of his death, Attorney General William Barr launched an FBI investigation and asked the Justice Department's inspector general to conduct its own probe into the financier's death.
Epstein's death put the federal prison system under scrutiny, and the Justice Department reassigned the warden at the jail and put two staffers on administrative leave.
Barr said there were "serious irregularities" at the Manhattan Correctional Center and denounced jail officials' "failure" to secure him.
On Tuesday, Barr also removed the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, Hugh Hurwitz, and named Kathleen Hawk Sawyer as his replacement.
Prosecutors' motion came the same day the New York Post obtained a copy of a will Epstein signed two days before his death. In it, he created a trust to handle his $577 million fortune. He had a single heir -- his brother, Mark Epstein.
The will was filed in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two islands.