Opinion

The Epstein Case Is Back – Will Justice Be Done?

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Posted: Jul 11, 2019 9:02 AM
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The Epstein Case Is Back – Will Justice Be Done?

Source: AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Uma Sanghvi, File/Palm Beach Post via AP

Jeffrey Epstein is back in the news.  The case against multi-millionaire, serial pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is sickening, outrageous, and a total annihilation of due process and the rule of law. The absolute tragedy of the case cannot be overstated.  

Pedophile sex trafficking charges against Epstein underscore the travesty of how wealthy, sex-obsessed men can get away with years of predatory behavior and leverage special treatment from prosecutors.   In Epstein’s case, vulnerable girls as young as 13 were groomed and enticed with cash for massages and sexual favors.  They were victims of sexual abuse.           

In November, the confirmation hearing of William Barr for Attorney General served as a catalyst for resurrecting the decade-old case.    Senator Ben Sasse called for an investigation of the Department of Justice’s handling of the plea deal after The Miami Herald published a bombshell  investigative report.   That report mustered scant attention.   Outrage was relegated to random op-ed pages and an occasional columnist.  

Barr was asked point blank whether he would commit to answering why the government settled on a sweetheart deal involving a few months in a county jail and a non-prosecution agreement kept secret from the victims.  Before Barr was confirmed, DOJ announced it was reopening the case.  

In February, a federal judge ruled the plea deal violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act because it hid the agreement from his victims.   In June, DOJ declined to invalidate the deal.   

New criminal charges filed by federal prosecutors in New York finally hold promise for justice to be done and could justifiably lead to a resignation, renunciations, and tarnished reputations.  Most importantly, it should result in severe, lifetime consequences for the perpetrator at the center of these despicable crimes.    

Make no mistake, many will be eager to get this case out of the news again, including a former president who logged multiple flights on Epstein’s Lolita Express, a former FBI director, and a current Secretary of Labor who was in the pivotal role of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and orchestrated the plea deal. 

Legal superstars Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr were Epstein’s powerhouse high-paid attorneys. Dershowitz boasted, “We outlawyered him,” in cutting a deal with then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta.   Will they continue to defend Epstein and his insatiable appetite for the vulnerable, underage victims he entrapped and assaulted?   These young girls were railroaded as chattel in the sweetheart deal – mere bargaining chips for 13 months in the county jail with work release privileges and entry as a registered sex offender.  No due process for the victims, and no rehabilitation for the pedophile playboy.    

Will political candidates distance themselves?  In 2016, Epstein doled out campaign contributions to U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett.  Epstein repeated his $2700 political donation in 2018.  Democrats have appeared nonplussed that a sexual predator has run free on the Virgin Islands leveraging his Red Hook Enterprise to support their political candidate.  

Has registering as a sex offender done anything to stop an unrepentant Epstein?   Investigators just seized troves of nude photos of underage girls in his Manhattan residence.  Epstein didn’t even register as a sex offender in the Virgin Islands until 2012 when the USVI Department of Justice enacted sex offender registration laws.  Not until 2016 did it verify them.   Epstein is registered as the lowest-level Tier 1 offender – hardly reflective of the immensity of the sexual abuse he inflicted on young girls.      

In a massive manipulation and miscarriage of justice, a wealthy, pedophile sex trafficker has walked free for a decade, and the voices of his exploited victims have not been heard.   If the charges against Jeffrey Epstein are not taken seriously this time and prosecuted to the fullest, how can we ever believe that justice will be done in sex cases involving wealthy, sex-obsessed men?