A federal appeals court has ordered the release of sealed court records pertaining to billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex ring—spelling a victory for the victims, whose lawyers said the documents will prove Epstein trafficked underage girls to his famous friends.
The court ruled that some of the records in a defamation lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged associate, be made public, vacating a Manhattan judge’s prior ruling to keep the documents private.
The court stated that “upon reviewing the summary judgment materials in connection with this appeal, we find that there is no countervailing privacy interest sufficient to justify their continued sealing.”
Guiffre has claimed that Maxwell recruited her to be a “masseuse” for Epstein, who has been linked to both President Trump and former President Clinton, saying that from 1999-2002 she was used to perform sexual acts as part of the ring. She was 16 years old at the time and said other underage girls were used for sex as well.
Roberts, who is now 35, also claimed Maxwell pimped her out to Epstein’s wealthy pals, including Prince Andrew.
She escaped from the sex ring in 2002 after fleeing to Australia when Epstein and Maxwell allegedly sent her to Thailand to study massage.
Epstein was not part of Maxwell’s suit, according to the Miami Herald.
Epstein had previously been charged in 2007 in a 53-page indictment. As the Miami Herald revealed in its investigative series “Perversion of Justice,” Epstein managed to escape all federal charges through a plea deal that gave him and all of his co-conspirators immunity, with all documents being sealed. Epstein ended up pleading guilty to one state prostitution charge in Florida. He then registered as a sex offender and paid unspecified restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI.
Earlier this year, the judge ruled Epstein’s deal violated federal law because it was kept secret from the victims, who never knew of the negotiations between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Epstein’s legal team.
Two of Epstein’s alleged victims filed a suit to nullify the plea deal shortly after, saying the government did not inform or consult with them.
Guiffre later joined the suit and, with another unnamed victim, brought forth new allegations of sexual abuse by several others, “including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well‐known Prime Minister, and other world leaders.”
How the investigation began
In March 2005, a woman contacted Florida’s Palm Beach Police Department and alleged that her 14-year-old stepdaughter had been taken to Epstein’s mansion by an older girl. There she was allegedly paid $300 to strip and massage Epstein. She had allegedly undressed, but left the encounter wearing her underwear.
Police began an 11-month undercover investigation of Epstein, followed by a search of his home. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also became involved in the investigation. Subsequently, the police alleged that Epstein had paid several escorts to perform sexual acts on him. Interviews with five alleged victims and 17 witnesses under oath, a high school transcript and other items found in Epstein’s trash and home allegedly showed that some of the girls involved were under 18.
The police search of Epstein’s home found large numbers of photos of girls throughout the house, some of whom the police had interviewed in the course of their investigation.
Authorities discovered that Epstein allegedly abused more than 40 underage girls in Palm Beach from about 1999 to 2007, though the total number of victims is likely in the hundreds, according to the accusers and their attorneys.
One Jane Doe lawsuit filed in 2009 additionally accused Epstein of the production of child pornography. Epstein “displayed photographs of nude underage girls throughout his homes in New York City, Palm Beach, Santa Fe, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” stated the complaint filed by Jane Doe, who believed some images were snapped via two hidden cameras that cops discovered inside Epstein’s Palm Beach lair.
UPDATE: Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday and will appear in New York court on Monday to be charged with sex trafficking, according to multiple law enforcement sources.
Billionaire pedophile 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. The 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.
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.