Billionaire buys his way out of case, leaving victims unable to tell their story in court
Clinton-linked billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein will no longer have face his victims in court after escaping his child sex abuse trial by settling the case out of court for an undisclosed sum.
The court case was an opportunity for the many victims of the serial molester to tell their stories from the witness stand, but the case will never see a courtroom after it was announced on Tuesday that the predator has bought his way out of justice, making him a free man today.
Aside from the monetary settlement, Epstein was also forced to issue an apology — not to the dozens of women who were waiting to testify about how they were sexually abused by Epstein as underage girls, but to the lawyer who represented them.
The last-minute settlement was reached in the case against the registered sex offender just before jury selection was to begin — and, for now, it likely means none of the women will be able to speak about the alleged abuse they endured at Epstein’s hands, according to the Associated Press.
According to Fox News, the 65-year-old Epstein, who has counted presidents and kings among his friends, allegedly operated a sex ring at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, a residence in New York City, and his private island estate.
The latter locale contained Epstein’s 72-acre Virgin Islands home — and the strip of land was dubbed by some as “Orgy Island.”
Court documents obtained by Fox News in 2016 showed former President Bill Clinton took at least 26 trips flying aboard Epstein’s private jet — known as the “Lolita Express” — and apparently ditched his Secret Service detail on some of the excursions.
Authorities who seized trash outside Epstein’s home at the time found an invoice for the purchase of the book “SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude — Principles, Skills, and Tools,” as well as the instructional “Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners.”
— Chuck Weber (@ChuckWeber12) December 4, 2018
Epstein, dogged by countless allegations of sex with underage girls, pleaded guilty in 2008 to state sex charges, served a year in jail and registered as a sex offender.
But in a secret deal with federal prosecutors led by now-Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Epstein avoided a possible life term.
According to the Maimi Herald, the lawyer who took Epstein to court, Bradley Edwards, said he remains determined to give the women, now in their late 20s and early 30s, their day in court.
That opportunity could come in separate litigation that seeks to undo a controversial non-prosecution agreement that was negotiated in secret 10 years ago between the Palm Beach multimillionaire’s lawyers and the U.S. attorney for South Florida, Alex Acosta.
The case is still pending. Edwards has argued that the settlement was illegal because it was executed without telling Epstein’s victims, an apparent violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
That law entitles crime victims in federal cases to be informed of developments in a case, including plea deals and court hearings.
The women were deliberately kept in the dark, emails obtained by the Miami Herald showed.
A series of stories in the Miami Herald, published over the past week, outlined the ways in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office under Acosta colluded with the Epstein defense team to hide the agreement from the press, public, and victims.
As part of the deal with Acosta 10 years ago, Epstein served slightly over a year in the Palm Beach County stockade after pleading guilty to two minor prostitution-related charges.
The trial that was set to begin Tuesday was the result of a convoluted dispute between Edwards, who has represented several women who say they were molested by the hedge fund manager, and major Clinton donor Epstein.
Epstein initially sued Edwards, linking the lawyer to the leader of his former law firm, notorious Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.
Epstein claimed that Edwards’ aggressive advocacy on behalf of the women was a way to divert attention from Rothstein’s illegal scheme, which landed him in prison for decades.
After Rothstein said Edwards had nothing to do with the illegal Ponzi, Epstein withdrew his lawsuit, and Edwards countersued.
Edwards hoped to use the forum of the trial to allow sex abuse victims to tell their stories of abuse at the hands of Epstein, which they did not get to do originally because of the non-prosecution agreement agreed to by Acosta when he was South Florida’s top prosecutor.