Reference to the letter Epstein tried to send Nassar was included in a trove of documents obtained by the AP, which offer one of the most comprehensive looks at Epstein’s 36 days in jail following his arrest on federal sex trafficking charges, and before his death by suicide on Aug. 10, 2019.
Epstein apparently tried to contact Nassar by mail, but the letter never reached the man who pleaded guilty to charges against him in 2017. Nassar abused an estimated 300 young athletes under the guise of medical treatment during his time as team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.
Epstein’s letter to Nassar was reportedly returned to sender and found on the mailroom floor at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City weeks after Epstein’s death. While the contents of the letter remain unknown, an investigator mentioned it in an email to a prison official.
“It appeared he mailed it out and it was returned back to him. I am not sure if I should open it or should we hand it over to anyone?”
Along with the Nassar letter, the new documents — obtained from the federal Bureau of Prisons via a Freedom of Information Act request — include other bits about Epstein’s behavior during his final days. For instance, he was reportedly upset about the standard orange jumpsuit uniform and asked for a brown one when meeting with his lawyers. He called himself a “coward” as he tried to adjust to life in prison, but he also insisted he wasn’t a “bad guy” due to his good behavior. Two days before his death, he spent $73.85 at the commissary, purchasing a radio and headphones; he had $566 left in his account when he died.
Medical records were also included, showing that Epstein suffered from sleep apnea, constipation, hypertension, lower back pain, and prediabetes. He’d been previously treated for chlamydia, too, and said during a health screening that he’d had over 10 female sexual partners over the past five years.
As for his mental health, after his first suicide attempt, Epstein was put under psychological observation and suicide watch. Though he told a jail psychologist he had “a wonderful life” and “would be crazy” to kill himself, officers also observed him in more despondent moods (especially after he was denied bail in July 2019).
Most damming, however, are the details in the documents about the shortcomings at the Metropolitan Correctional Center both in the lead-up to Epstein’s death and in its immediate aftermath. An internal memo sent after Epstein’s death mentioned “seriously reduced staffing levels, improper or lack of training, and follow up and oversight” at the MCC, which the Bureau of Prisons announced would temporarily close in 2021 due to deteriorating conditions.
Epstein’s lawyer, Martin Weinberg, told the AP those at the jail were subjected to “medieval conditions of confinement that no American defendant should have been subjected to,” adding: “It’s sad, it’s tragic, that it took this kind of event to finally cause the Bureau of Prisons to close this regrettable institution.”
The documents also included some of the falsified log entries submitted by the two guards who were supposed to be watching Epstein the night he died. Both Tova Noel and Michael Thomas have admitted to lying on prison records about making their rounds, with prosecutors alleging they were instead shopping online or napping (the two men took plea deals and avoided prison time).
The incompetence apparently extended to the investigations launched immediately after Epstein’s death, especially the difficulties prosecutors had dealing with the Bureau of Prisons. One prosecutor, for instance, was slammed by the Bureau for issuing public press releases “before telling us basic information so that we can relay it to his attorneys who can relay it to his family.”