Convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died Saturday in an apparent suicide.
And many people, including lawmakers and the attorney general William Barr, want to know how it could have happened while he was in federal custody in Manhattan.
The attorney general has already ordered the inspector general to investigate
Epstein had been held in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center since his arrest in early July.
He pleaded not guilty to federal charges after prosecutors accused him of sex trafficking dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14.
His request to await trial at his upper east side mansion was denied and he was ordered to stay at the federal facility.
Prison officials say Epstein was found dead in his cell early Saturday morning, which came as a shock for his accusers, who have continued to speak out in the more than a month since his arrest.
Jennifer Araoz, who told NBC in July that Epstein had raped her when she was a minor at his New York mansion, says she was angry at the news of his death.
“We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed,” Araoz said in a statement.
An attorney for Epstein called for an investigation into Epstein’s death and released a personal statement blaming politicians, prosecutors, judges, the press, plaintiff’s lawyers and jail workers for Epstein’s death.
“All these actors appear to bear some responsibility for this calamity,” he contended, “all seem to have a share of Mr. Epstein’s blood on their hands. All should be ashamed of their behavior.”
Epstein’s death comes less than 24 hours after thousands of pages of revealing documents were unsealed in a case from an accuser against one of his former associates.
The 2015 defamation suit was filed by Virginia Giuffre, who says she was underage when Epstein kept her as a “sex slave” for years, flying her around the world to have sex with powerful men.
After getting news of Epstein’s death, Giuffre’s attorney said: “the reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of brave and truthful victims should not end with Jeffrey Epstein’s cowardly and shameful suicide.”
She continued, maintaining that “we are hopeful that the government will continue to investigate and will focus on those who participated and facilitated Epstein’s horrifying sex trafficking scheme that damaged so many.”
This wasn’t Epstein’s first experience behind bars.
He struck a controversial deal with Florida prosecutors to avoid federal charges in 2007 and the following year he pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges, spending just 13 months in custody.
He got work release privileges allowing him to go to his office 12 hours a day, six days a week
Epstein’s legal team had argued the plea deal was the reason Epstein shouldn’t be prosecuted in New York.