So let’s revisit the sordid tale of Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy Palm Beach, Florida financier who, thanks to the man who is now our nation’s Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, got a sweetheart deal on a sex trafficking rap.
There’s little doubt that some uncomfortable things were going on in Epstein’s home and on his private plane, as far as underaged girls.
Epstein got out of a serious charge of sex trafficking, with little more than a slap on the wrist.
The history surrounding the charges against Epstein claim that he would use young girls to lure other young girls into his employ, and that he would often “loan out” his underaged harem to wealthy or influential friends, presumably with the intent to use this knowledge as leverage at a later date, if necessary.
And he did, indeed, keep some pretty high company.
More on that, later.
In 2005, a woman went to the Palm Beach Police Department to report that an older girl had taken her 14 year old stepdaughter to a party at Epstein’s home. Once there, the young girl was allegedly paid $300 to strip and massage Epstein.
That kicked off a yearlong investigation, with the FBI stepping in. There was ample evidence uncovered in the home, including pictures of young girls in various locations, as well as information suggesting they were under the age of 18.
The investigation resulted in a 53-page indictment. Then-U.S. Attorney for South Florida Alex Acosta met with Epstein’s lawyers and readily agreed to a plea deal.
Epstein, along with his noted co-conspirators – and get this – any potential, as unnamed co-conspirators were granted immunity. The investigation was stopped, the files sealed.
In return, Epstein pleaded guilty to a single count of soliciting sex from a girl as young as 14, registered as a sex offender, and paid restitution to about three dozen victims, as identified by the FBI.
He served about 13 months in jail, with work release that put him on the outside for 12 hours or more a day. He was even allowed to hire his own guards for his time out on release during the day. He definitely didn’t have to serve the same sentence as someone of lesser means. The law was bent to accommodate him, rather than force him to pay for his crimes.
An investigation into the deal revealed that Acosta was instrumental in keeping the charges confined to simply state charges, and also keeping it under wraps until it was presented in court, denying the victims an opportunity to object or be heard in court.
So let’s get back to his wealthy, influential friends. Among them are former President Bill Clinton, current President Donald Trump, and Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz.
Dershowitz served as part of Epstein’s legal counsel during that period of his life, but has also been implicated in the shenanigans that led to the financier’s arrest.
A new defamation lawsuit was filed Tuesday by one of Epstein’s young victims, and Dershowitz is prominently represented in the case.
In the suit, Virginia L. Giuffre, previously known as Virginia Roberts, said that she was a victim of sex trafficking and abuse by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein over a decade ago and that Dershowitz falsely claimed she had fabricated the accusations.
The suit alleges that Dershowitz “was also a participant in sex trafficking, including as one of the men to whom Epstein lent out Plaintiff for sex.”
According to Giuffre, the abuse began and went on between 2000 and 2002, when she was only 16 years old.
“When Epstein was arrested for sex trafficking in 2006, Dershowitz defended his friend and client by falsely attacking the veracity of his accusers, including calling the children whom Epstein had abused [and, in the case of Plaintiff, the Defendant himself had also abused], liars and prostitutes,” the defamation suit filed by Giuffre says.
Giuffre’s attorney in Florida, Sigrid McCawley, said that “Ms. Guiffre’s complaint is supported by detailed factual allegations, contemporaneous documents and sworn affidavits.”“Mr. Dershowitz’s response in court will have to be more than the conclusory denials and ad hominem attacks on victims and their lawyers that continue to be the core of his desperate media strategy,” she said.
Giuffre’s defamation suit seeks a judgment against Dershowitz “awarding compensatory, consequential, exemplary, and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in excess of the $75,000 jurisdictional requirement,” as well as any attorney’s fees.
Of course, Dershowitz is vehemently denying that he ever indulged in the illicit favors of his client, Epstein, and says he looks forward to facing his accusers in court.
I wouldn’t expect him to say anything different.
Part of the suit alleges Dershowitz made false or malicious statements about the plaintiff, on his behalf, and that of Epstein.
“I welcome this lawsuit. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to prove in court that this woman made up whole story,” Dershowitz said. “I will prove that she committed perjury. I never met her.”
Ok. You’ll have your chance in court, without Alex Acosta making any dubious legal moves.
Now, enter Maria Farmer.
Farmer, as an exhibit in this case claimed in a sworn affidavit that she worked as an art buyer for Epstein in 1996, but that she also would man the doors of his New York mansion and kept records of visitors, during that time.
She said in the exhibit that she saw a number of schoolage girls coming to the home and that they would be escorted upstairs, and that Dershowitz came to visit Epstein “a number of times.”
She also said in the exhibit that: “On a number [of] occasions I witnessed Dershowitz at the NY mansion going upstairs at the same time there were young girls under the age of 18 who were present upstairs in the house.”
If proven true, that could make things quite uncomfortable, don’t you think?
This is apparently where Dershowitz feels he has the upper hand, however.
Dershowitz told NBC News that “I can prove that Maria Farmer never met me,” and that “I never met Jeffrey Epstein until after she stopped working for him.”
“She could have never have seen me,” Dershowitz said.
But then again…
Joshua Schiller, Giuffre’s attorney in the defamation suit, said the complaint contains detailed allegations. “We look forward to proving these allegations in a court of law,” he said.
This may not be the case that brings the justice that was denied so many of Epstein’s victims, but it could very well uncover much of the dirty dealing that went into letting him get away with as much as he did.
As for Alexander Acosta, who has come under scrutiny for his part in this miscarriage of justice, he claims that more witnesses have come forward now than back then, making the case against Epstein stronger.
“The bottom line is this: Mr. Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire, served time in jail and is now a registered sex offender. He has been required to pay his victims restitution, though restitution clearly cannot compensate for the crime,” Acosta has said.
Dude, he barely spent time in jail, when he should have gone to prison.
He spent 12 hours at his posh office each day, only returning to a county jail cell for a few hours each night. That went on for 13 months.
He hasn’t paid for a thing, but his victims will have to live with what he and his wealthy pals did to them.