A federal judge on Thursday formally dismissed the criminal sex trafficking case against financier Jeffrey Epstein in light of his death in jail earlier this month. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said at a hearing earlier this week that he was legally bound to dismiss the case. Prosecutors said at that hearing that an investigation into Epstein’s alleged crimes would continue, and that the dismissal would not prevent them from charging possible co-conspirators in the future.
The 66-year-old Epstein was a money manager who once counted U.S. President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew as friends. He was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges involving dozens of girls as young as 14.
Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, having been previously taken off suicide watch. A New York City medical examiner concluded that he had died of suicide by hanging.
Epstein’s lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.