Billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein, already a registered sex offender, was arrested by New York law enforcement over the weekend for allegedly engaging in sex trafficking of underage girls. The reporter who originally broke the story has been following Epstein's illicit activities over the past several years. She says a significant number of “powerful and important” people are going to be named as having been involved before it's over.
Julie K. Brown, who has reported on Epstein's illicit activities for the Miami Herald over the past decade, appeared on MSNBC and said, “These are very powerful people...there are a lot of names that I could see on these message pads on a regular basis as part of the evidence.” According to Brown, those message pads contained messages for Epstein from men as well as women, informing him that they were staying at a specific hotel. “Why do you do that, unless you're expecting him to send you a girl to visit you at your hotel?” Brown commented.
Epstein's career as a sex trafficker was first exposed in 2005 when a woman contacted the Palm Beach Police Department with allegations that her 14-year-old stepdaughter had gone to Epstein's mansion, where she was paid to strip and give him a “massage.” That started an undercover investigation that continued for almost a year. Ultimately, the FBI identified 36 underage girls who had been subject to molestation at Epstein's residence over the years.
As happens all-too-often when it comes to rich and powerful white men who violate the law, Epstein was granted a deal. He entered a guilty plea to one charge of soliciting an underage prostitute, agreed to register as a sex offender, and paid restitution to the victims who had been identified. This essentially allowed a pervert and a predator to walk away from charges that would have sent anyone of lesser net worth to prison for life without parole.
Unlike most sex offenders who go to prison, Epstein spent 13 months in his own cell at the Palm Beach County Stockade and was allowed to go to his office during the day, often for more than 12 hours a day, 6 days per week. During his probation, he was allowed to leave the state aboard his private corporate jet.
Now that Epstein is an alleged recidivist, what will happen to him now? Will the deal that allowed him to walk away from a life sentence be allowed to stand? At this point, federal prosecutors are still inclined to coddle Epstein. In a court filing in Florida, where the plea deal is being challenged by his victims, U.S. government prosecutors acknowledged that the girls he victimized were inadequately served by Epstein's deal. However, they insist that “...the government committed itself to the NPA [non-prosecution agreement], and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions.”
It's worth noting that the U.S. Attorney who negotiated Epstein's non-prosecution agreement was R. Alexander Acosta, who is currently Secretary of Labor under President Trump.
It is also worth noting that New York, where Epstein will face charges this week, recently passed a law extending the statute of limitations on sex crimes against minors. The federal government may be inclined toward leniency when it comes to a wealthy white male who happens to be a friend of Trump. However, should Epstein be proven guilty of these latest accusations, the State of New York may finally hold a privileged pedophile to account -- and he may very well drag some very important people down with him.