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Jeffrey Epstein's guards could face criminal charges, source says

Federal prosecutors in New York are considering bringing criminal charges against two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein on the night of his death, a source familiar with the investigation told CBS News. Epstein, who was 66 at the time of his death, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on August 10.

Prosecutors offered the officers the opportunity to plead guilty to the charges, but the officers declined the offer, the source added. The source said it was not a plea deal.  

The medical examiner's office ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging on August 16. But that didn't stop conspiracy theories about his death, or questions about how such a high-profile prisoner could have died on the correctional center's watch. 

Epstein, who had been charged with sexually abusing a number of underage girls, had been placed on suicide watch the month before his death after he was found on his cell floor with bruising on his neck. But multiple sources said that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch after about a week, and placed into a high-security housing unit where he was supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes. 

Both the FBI and the Justice Department's inspector general are investigating the death. The Department of Justice declined to comment.  

Additional reporting by Clare Hymes

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