Calls for ’round-the-clock surveillance’ for convicted rapist in Rikers Island jail
Prison chiefs are warning that recently-convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein could “try to kill himself like Jeffrey Epstein” while in jail, as officials call for “round the clock surveillance” for the disgraced Hollywood producer.
Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault in court on Monday and New York prison officials are said to be concerned another high-profile, Clinton-linked inmate could be found dead in their jail cell.
Convicted pedophile Epstein was found hanging in his cell last August at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan while awaiting trial on federal child sex trafficking charges.
Now, over fears of a repeat of Epstein’s death, calls are being made for Weinstein to be kept in a private section for his own safety.
Weinstein – now listed as inmate No. 3102000153 – will serve his sentence at New York’s Rikers Island’s North Infirmary Command, which is for high-risk inmates.
The jury found Mr. Weinstein guilty of two counts – criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree – and he is due to be sentenced on March 11.
According to TMZ Weinstein would have round-the-clock surveillance cameras watching him in prison.
One of the reported failings in Epstein’s case was that the high-profile prisoner was left without surveillance at a federal facility, despite already making an earlier “suicide attempt,” according to The Daily Mail.
It later emerged the convicted pedophile had been taken off suicide watch a week later and put back in a high-security housing unit where he was less closely monitored.
Video footage from outside the financier’s jail cell was “too flawed” to be used by investigators examining the lead up to his death.
Jail guards on duty the night of he died are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates every half-hour as required.
One of Weinstein’s accusers, Ivana Lowell, also speculated about whether he would end up like Epstein.
Lowell – a Guinness heiress who worked for Weinstein’s Miramax Books in the 90s – wrote in a Facebook post seen by Fox News: “I wonder if Harvey will try to attempt a Jeffrey Epstein.
“Those prison guards better stay awake on their watch this time.
“This whole sordid affair has left me feeling quite physically sick.”
Movie mogul Weinstein was convicted on Monday by a New York jury of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in his apartment in 2006 and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a hotel room in 2013.
He was acquitted of the two most serious counts of predatory sexual assault, which each carried a potential life sentence.
He was also found not guilty of first-degree rape in relation to Mann.
The disgraced Hollywood producer was due to be sent immediately to Rikers Island prison following the jury’s verdict but was rushed to hospital with chest pains and heart palpitations.
He is said to be in high spirits but remains in hospital under police guard at Bellevue Hospital.
The 67-year-old is facing a minimum sentence of at least five years and a maximum of 29 years in prison.
New York prison chiefs are reportedly looking to move Weinstein to another facility elsewhere in the country because he is so high-risk.
The Rikers Island jail complex, whose main building went up in 1932, has long been plagued by violence and neglect.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed in 2017 to close it within a decade.
Jail officials could place Weinstein in a private or semi-private cell to help ensure his safety.
More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
He has denied the accusations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.
Weinstein also faces several felony charges in Los Angeles in connection with his alleged sexual assaults against two women in 2013.
And Epstein didn’t kill himself.