This past weekend, Jeffery Epstein, who was convicted of prostitution charges and was recently charged for sex-trafficking, was found dead by apparent suicide in federal jail; however, accusers are still seeking justice through civil cases against Epstein’s estate.
Geoffery S. Berman, chief federal prosecutor in Manhattan, ensured the public that the investigation will continue. He hinted that the government has other individuals that are potentially involved and are under investigation.
Many accusers were outraged to hear that Epstein committed suicide, viewing his death as again eluding justice for his crimes. Michelle Licata, one of the many girls recruited and sexually abused at Epstein’s hands, stated that she “never wanted him to die” but instead “wanted him to be held accountable for his actions.”
“To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment – which included a conspiracy count – remains on going,” said Berman.
Several accusers are disappointed that they will never be able to confront Epstein. Sarah Cohen Levin, a former federal prosecutor, said “the victims will lose the opportunity to face him in court, see him eye to eye and tell their story, but they can still work with the government to get their story out.”
Lisa Bloom, a California lawyer, has already stated that she will file a lawsuit on behalf of two accusers against Epstein’s estate. “The victims are entitled for compensation for the anguish he put them through over so many years.”
Accusers and survivors are “hopeful that other victims may be relieved of some of the fear that has prevented them from coming forward while Epstein was still alive,” according to Florida lawyer Jack Scarola.
In July, federal prosecutors charged Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire financier, on sex crimes, including allegation that he ran a sex-trafficking ring that involved underage girls as young as 14.
Multiple women came forward accusing Epstein of sexual assault and abuse. Prosecutors say that “thousands of sexually suggestive pictures of young women and girls seized in his Manhattan home demonstrate the predatory attitude that Mr. Epstein continues to have towards young women.”
Recent accusations of sexual assault have revived the decade old case of sex trafficking against him that was settled in 2008 after a plea deal was struck. Epstein was accused of assembling a massive cult-like network of underage girls with the help of female recruiters that coerced young women into sexual acts almost three times a day. The extraordinary plea deal struck between Epstein’s lawyers and the defense in 2007 registered him as a sex offender, gave him only 13 months in jail, and concealed the deal from the victims. This rendered the abuse inflicted on the victims invisible, ensuring that Epstein’s future would be protected.
About 80 women came forward to say that they were molested or sexually abused by Epstein from 2001 to 2006. Courtney Wild, who was 14 when she met Epstein, explains how “Jeffrey preyed on girls who were in a bad way, girls who were basically homeless. He went after girls who he thought no one would listen to and he was right.” Not only did he abuse young girls but he also forced them to go out and recruit other young girls.
Media Resources: Feminist NewsWire 07/10/2019, Miami Herald 10/28/2018, NYT 06/08/2019, 06/09/2019, 8/12/19