Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for his alleged crimes of sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
Epstein’s alleged crimes and abuse of minors have been the subject of multiple lawsuits brought over the last decade, but so far he’s been able to avoid any meaningful jail time or federal charges.
Finally, that might be about to change.
The new indictment – which, according to two sources, will be unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court – will reportedly allege that Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for “massages” and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors – which could put him away for a maximum of 45 years.
Epstein, a former teacher turned hedge-fund manager, has been described as a “Gatsbyesque figure,” but his financial career has been less than transparent. A 2003 Vanity Fair profile claimed Epstein “was definitely not what he claimed to be” – but allegations of sexual abuse were nixed from the article after Epstein pressured the magazine. Palm Beach police launched an investigation into Epstein as early as 2005, after a 14-year-old girl told them an older man named Jeffrey molested her at his residence. However, the state attorney’s office declined to pursue serious charges claiming the girls accusing Epstein weren’t credible.
So much for “believe all women.” It’s tragic to think how many of his victims could have been spared if some of the early charges had stuck. Instead, many people, including the Palm Beach police chief, think prosecutors went easy on Epstein.
In an era where #MeToo has toppled powerful men, Epstein’s name was largely absent from the national conversation, until the Miami Herald published a three-part series on how his wealth, power and influence shielded him from federal prosecution. For years, The Daily Beast has reported on Epstein’s alleged abuse, starting with Conchita Sarnoff’s exposes on his easy jail sentence and soft treatment by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which ultimately scrapped a 53-page indictment against Epstein. An earlier version of Epstein’s plea deal included a 10-year federal sentence – before his star-studded lawyers threatened to go to trial in a case prosecutors feared was unwindable, in part because Epstein’s team dredged up dirt on the victims, including social media posts indicating drug use.
Meanwhile, Epstein continued to whisk young girls around on his private jet, taking them to his various properties to facilitate the sexual abuse. And Epstein wasn’t the only one allegedly abusing the underage girls: other influential men have been spotted at his parties, including Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, England’s Prince Andrew, and of course former President Bill Clinton.
This is all just so gross. The Daily Beast article outlines over two decades of this behavior by Epstein and his collaborators. Hopefully, this is the beginning of justice for his victims.