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Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein found dead in New York jail cell

The disgraced financier was facing child sex trafficking charges.
/ Source: TODAY

Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier who was charged with sex trafficking, was found dead in his New York City jail cell on Saturday morning.

Epstein reportedly died by suicide. He was 66 years old.

This comes only two weeks after Epstein was found semiconscious with marks on his neck in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Multiple sources told NBC News that he was not on suicide watch at the time of his death.

Epstein was arrested July 6, 2019 in Teterboro, New Jersey. He pleaded not guilty at that time and a federal judge denied bail.

The financier was awaiting trial and being held without bail on federal child sex-trafficking charges. Epstein, whom President Donald Trump called a "terrific guy" in a 2002 interview with New York magazine, was registered as a sex offender in Florida.

Epstein was charged in a new indictment in New York with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking. He could have been sentenced for up to 45 years in prison if he was convicted.

In July, TODAY's Savannah Guthrie interviewed Jennifer Araoz, who said she was recruited outside her New York City high school to provide sexual massages to the wealthy financier.

In the fall of 2002, when she was only 15 years old, Araoz said Epstein pressured her to do more.

"He raped me, forcefully raped me," Araoz told Guthrie in the exclusive interview. "He knew exactly what he was doing."

"I was terrified, and I was telling him to stop. 'Please stop,'" Araoz, now 32, added.

Epstein's lawyers did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the allegations raised by Araoz in the interview.

And even though she finally summoned the strength to speak out to help other young girls, Araoz said she still harbors guilt over not doing so earlier.

She told Guthrie, "What hurts me even more so is that if I wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it to other girls."

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to for additional information.