‘It’s Been A Long Time Coming’: Jeffrey Epstein Charged With Trafficking Underage Girls

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Posted: Jul 07, 2019 7:00 AM
‘It’s Been A Long Time Coming’: Jeffrey Epstein Charged With Trafficking Underage Girls

Source: AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Uma Sanghvi

Jeffrey Epstein has been a name floated in MeToo era, but as some have noted, has largely escaped accountability for the heinous allegations that have been lobbed against him. He's been accused of molesting and trafficking underage girls for years. The man is well connected, with ties to British royalty, former President Bill Clinton, and President Trump. Clinton faced scrutiny for taking chartered flights on Epstein’s jet (via Fox News):

Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” -- even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

“Bill Clinton … associated with a man like Jeffrey Epstein, who everyone in New York, certainly within his inner circles, knew was a pedophile,” said Conchita Sarnoff, of the Washington, D.C. based non-profit Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, and author of a book on the Epstein case called "TrafficKing." “Why would a former president associate with a man like that?”

Epstein escaped serious federal charges on his alleged proclivities in 2007, but it seems the chickens have come home to roost. He was arrested for trafficking underage girls yesterday and will appear in court Monday. The Miami Herald had a three-part series on how Epstein used his connections and his wealth to escape accountability. The man is a billionaire former hedge fund manager with ties to some of the most powerful people in the world and access to platinum status-level defense lawyers. Yeah, I could see how he got his golden ticket back then. Not so much now. The Daily Beast also reported on Epstein’s past activities as well (via Daily Beast):

Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday, according to three law enforcement sources. Saturday's arrest by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force comes about 12 years after the 66-year-old financier essentially got a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida.

For more than a decade, Epstein’s alleged abuse of minors has been the subject of lawsuits brought by victims, investigations by local and federal authorities, and exposés in the press. But despite the attention cast on his alleged sex crimes, the hedge-funder has managed to avoid any meaningful jail time, let alone federal charges.

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. The case is being handled by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the district's human-trafficking officials and the FBI.

Several of the billionaire's employees and associates allegedly recruited the girls for Epstein's abuse, and some victims eventually became recruiters themselves, according to law enforcement. The girls were as young as 14, and Epstein knew they were underage, according to details of the arrest and indictment shared by two officials.

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“It’s been a long time coming—it’s been too long coming,” said attorney David Boies, who represents Epstein accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Sarah Ransome. “It is an important step towards getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise.

“We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible," he told The Daily Beast.

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, and 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 unwinnable, in part because Epstein’s team dredged up dirt on the victims, including social media posts indicating drug use.

More will be revealed on Monday.

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