Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Two New York correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein the night he killed himself are set to be arrested and charged, it was reported on Tuesday.
Related: New Epstein accuser sues estate and calls on Prince Andrew to share information
The guards, who were not immediately named, were expected to be charged with offenses related to their alleged failure to check on Epstein, the New York Times reported.
Epstein, a convicted sex offender who was awaiting trial for allegedly sex trafficking minors in Florida and New York, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan correctional center in Manhattan in August. New York City’s medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The workers were supposed to check on Epstein, a wealthy financier who counted Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew among powerful and well-known associates, every half an hour.
Instead, the New York Times reported, the two guards fell asleep. Esptein had been left for several hours before he was found. The guards allegedly falsified records to cover up what they had done.
Epstein, 66, had been placed on suicide watch after he was found unconscious in jail with injuries to his neck. That watch had been lifted before Epstein died.
A month before his death, Epstein was arrested and charged with the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. In 2008, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he was found guilty of soliciting girls as young as 14 for prostitution.
In August, Epstein’s death was ruled suicide by Dr Barbara Sampson, New York City’s medical examiner.
After Sampson issued her verdict the Washington Post reported that the autopsy found Epstein had a number of broken bones in his neck, injuries consistent with strangulation.
The reports and Sampson’s finding touched off a number of conspiracy theories, including several retweeted by Trump, that Epstein’s death may have been untoward.
The arrest of the guards comes as a new Epstein accuser sued Epstein’s estate, claiming he committed a “vicious, prolonged sexual assault” on her when she was 15. The woman, who is named as Jane Doe 15 in legal documents, is one of about a dozen women suing Epstein’s estate for alleged sexual abuses.
On Sunday, Prince Andrew gave a rare interview to the BBC in which he was quizzed about his long friendship with Epstein. The interview prompted a significant backlash in the UK, the US and elsewhere, as Prince Andrew claimed he had no knowledge of Epstein’s behavior and said he believed staying with Epstein after the financier had been convicted of child sex offenses, was the “honorable thing to do”.
In announcing her lawsuit, Jane Doe 15 appealed for Prince Andrew to come forward with information about Epstein.