Dropping Case Against Jeffrey Epstein's Jail Guards 'Pathetic,' Says Senator

Republican Senator Ben Sasse has condemned the decision from prosecutors to formally end their criminal case against two prison guards who admitted to falsifying records on the night billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, who were working when Epstein hung himself in his cell in August 2019, are alleged to have "sat at their desk, browsed the internet, and moved around the common area" of the Metropolitan Correctional Center Special Housing Unit instead of checking up on Epstein every 30 minutes.

Epstein was being held at the facility in New York while awaiting trial for child sex trafficking charges. The guards later admitted to falsifying records to make it seem like they were monitoring Epstein properly while he was under suicide watch.

In May, a six-month deferred prosecution agreement was reached between Noel and Thomas and the prosecution which saw the pair avert a trial as long as they completed 100 hours of community service and cooperated with a federal investigation into Epstein's death.

Nicolas Roos, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, requested the case be dropped against the pair on December 13 after the period of deferral expired on November 20. The request was filed to the court docket on Thursday, December 30.

Speaking to The Washington Examiner on Thursday, Sasse described the decision to not try to prosecute Noel and Thomas over Epstein's death as "pathetic."

"The Department of Justice has continued to fail Epstein's victims at every turn," Sasse said. "What these women deserve is justice. Dismissing the case against the guards who let Epstein escape justice is pathetic. A slap on the wrist isn't going to cut it."

The confirmation that the case was dropped arrived one day after Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's former girlfriend and longtime associate, was found guilty of five charges, including sex trafficking of a minor.

"Under the agreements, prosecution was deferred for a period of six months during the term of Noel's and Thomas's good behavior, completion of community service, and satisfactory compliance with the terms of the agreement," the court document written by Roos states.

In a statement to website Law and Crime in May after the deferred prosecution agreement was settled, Jason Foy, Noel's lawyer, said: "Ms. Noel is extremely grateful that we were able to convince the government and the court that the termination of criminal prosecution through a deferred prosecution agreement is in the interests of justice.

"When the conditions set forth in the deferred prosecution agreement are met, all criminal charges against Ms. Noel will be dismissed. Securing a resolution that eliminates both imprisonment and a criminal conviction is the favorable outcome that Ms. Noel prayed for since her arrest."

Thomas' counsel Montell Figgins said: "Thomas is very happy to put this case behind him. He is very pleased that this case may be dismissed in six months provided he meet certain conditions including 100 hours of community service."

Figgins and Foy have been contacted for further comment.

Jeffrey Epstein guards
Republican Senator Ben Sasse (R) has called the decision by the DoJ to end the criminal case against two prison guards who admitted to falsifying records on the night Jeffrey Epstein killed himself as "pathetic." Rick Friedman-Rick Friedman Photography-Corbis/Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours every day.