I have generally avoided covering news about Jeffrey Epstein, the toxic predator who has been embroiled in criminal cases and civil lawsuits for years now. Epstein was once a power player from New York to Miami, from England to Asia. He had high-profile friendships with the Duke of York, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. He was rich and preyed on underage girls, whom he enslaved and passed around to his rich, powerful friends. For years, the Duke of York’s name has been entangled in Epstein’s ongoing legal drama, and one woman has already come forward to say that Epstein sexually trafficked her to his friends including Prince Andrew.
From 2005-08, Epstein was investigated by the FBI and a major case was being built against him when suddenly, the federal prosecutor agreed to a plea deal which gave Epstein immunity from federal charges, and the indictment was put under seal. The plea deal involved a bare-bones state charge of soliciting prostitution, and he agreed to allow all of the civil cases play out, meaning he likely settled out of court with many of his victims. I’m going through Epstein’s Wiki page right now for research and I totally forgot how shady it all was – Epstein clearly had friends in high places and/or Epstein had compromising information on any number of high-profile individuals, enough to get him a virtual get-out-of-jail-free card.
In the decade that followed Epstein’s sealed indictment and all of the sketchiness around the case, many wondered if Epstein was now untouchable for federal prosecutors, and people wondered if he would ever have to face real justice. Well maybe he will.
Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, about a dozen federal agents broke down the door to Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse to execute search warrants, witnesses and sources said. Epstein, 66, is expected to be arraigned in federal court in New York on Monday on charges that he molested dozens of underage girls in New York and in Florida, the sources said. His arrest, first reported by the Daily Beast, comes nearly two weeks after the Justice Department announced that it would not throw out his 2008 non-prosecution agreement, even though a federal judge ruled it was illegal.
Rumors had been circulating for months that Epstein was under investigation on sex charges in the Southern District of New York. It’s not clear what instances those investigations involved, and the Herald had not been able to confirm the status of the New York probe. Sources said he was arrested by the FBI pursuant to a sealed indictment that will be unsealed on Monday. He is in custody in New York and a bail hearing is set for Monday.
“That bail hearing will be critical because if they grant him bail, he has enough money that he will disappear and they will never get him,’’ a source in New York told the Herald.
Last November, the Miami Herald published a series of stories, titled Perversion of Justice, that described the ways in which the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta, worked in conjunction with Epstein’s lawyers to engineer the non-prosecution agreement — and keep it secret from Epstein’s victims, so they could not object. Acosta is now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor.
Sources told the Herald that the indictment includes new victims and witnesses who spoke to authorities in New York over the past several months.
Epstein, who has homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, New Mexico, Paris and in the U.S. Virgin Islands, sexually abused nearly three dozen girls, mostly 13-16 years old, at his Palm Beach mansion from 1999 to 2006, according to investigators. He used the girls to help recruit other young girls as part of an operation that ran similar to a pyramid scheme. He also had recruiters who helped with his appointments, scheduling as many as three or four girls a day, the FBI probe found.
You know what strikes me? The fact that a man like this won’t suddenly change once there’s a federal investigation. Does anyone really think that he stopped being a predator after 2008? Of course not. My point is that there are probably many new victims from the past decade. New victims who were not part of whatever shady f–king sweetheart immunity deal Epstein worked out with the federal prosecutor back in 2008. Also: Trump is involved in this, right?
Photos courtesy of Getty.