Prosecutors in Florida knew Epstein raped young girls for two years before making a deal show

Florida prosecutors knew that the late millionaire and financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted teenage girls two years before they agreed to a plea deal that has been criticized for a long time as being too easy on him and a missed chance to put him in jail ten years earlier, according to records made public on Monday.

The 2006 grand jury investigation was the first of many over the past 20 years by law enforcement into Epstein’s rape and sex trafficking of teens. His ties to the wealthy and powerful seem to have kept him out of prison or a serious jail time for over a decade.

The investigations revealed Epstein’s close connections to Prince Andrew of Britain, former President Bill Clinton, and many other wealthy and powerful people who have denied any wrongdoing and have not been prosecuted. Epstein also had a friendly relationship with former President Donald Trump.

The publication by Circuit Judge Luis Delgado of roughly 150 pages It was unexpected on Monday because there was a hearing set for next week about the disclosure of the graphic evidence. A statute authorizing the release on Monday or at any later time that Delgado directed was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in February. Transcripts of Florida grand juries are often kept confidential indefinitely; however, the measure established an exception for instances such as Epstein’s.

According to the transcripts, Epstein, who was in his 40s at the time, had assaulted adolescent females at his Palm Beach estate as young as 14. He frequently paid them to perform statutory rape or assault. In their testimony, the youths said that if they got him other girls, they would also get compensated in cash or hire a car.

In his order, Delgado stated, “The details in the record will be outrageous to decent people.” “The Grand Jury’s testimony covers a wide range of behavior, from rape to outrageously inappropriate behavior—all of the conduct at issue is repulsive, criminal, and sexually deviant.”

2008 saw Epstein reach a settlement with federal prosecutors in South Florida that spared him more serious federal prosecution in exchange for a guilty plea to state charges of obtaining a minor for prostitution and soliciting prostitution. He was given a sentence of 1.5 years in the Palm Beach County jail system, with practically daily access to his office as part of a work-release program. After that, he was placed under home arrest for a year. As a sexual offender, he had to register.

Alex Acosta, Trump’s labor secretary, resigned in 2019 in response to criticism of the transaction. Acosta approved the contract when serving as South Florida’s U.S. attorney in 2008. Acosta handled the Epstein prosecution with “poor judgment,” according to a 2020 Justice Department probe, but it wasn’t enough to qualify as professional misconduct.

Former Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer, the lead prosecutor in the Epstein case, did not immediately reply to an email and a voicemail on Monday asking for comment over the release of the transcripts.

In a statement, current Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg expressed his gratitude for the records’ release. He did not participate in the inquiry. He claimed he was unable to comment on whether Krischer ought to have gone after a more severe prosecution of Epstein because he had not yet reviewed the transcripts.

The transcripts indicate that Krischer’s office “took the case to the Grand Jury with an agenda — to return minimal, if any, criminal charges against Jeffrey Epstein,” according to a statement from Brad Edwards, an attorney representing several of the victims.

“The Office depicted the victims as criminals and presented a small portion of the evidence in an inaccurate manner,” he stated. “It is heartbreaking how many people Epstein was able to exploit because the State covered for him when they could have imprisoned him.”

Over 125 victims are receiving $155 million in reparations from Epstein’s estate.

The Palm Beach Police Detective Joe Recarey testified in July 2006, and the transcripts show that he was involved in the initial investigation. Recarey stated that in March 2005, a woman reported that her stepdaughter, who was in high school at the time, had received $300 for engaging in “sexual activity with a man in Palm Beach.”

Detectives were informed by another adolescent, whose identity was withheld from the transcript, that she was approached by a friend at the age of 17 who offered her $200 for giving a massage at Epstein’s house.

When Epstein tried to touch her in the residence, she told him she didn’t feel comfortable. Then he promised to give her $200 if she brought “girls” over to the house. Recarey recalled that he said to her, “The younger, the better.”

Recarey recalled that she eventually invited six companions, including a fourteen-year-old, to Epstein’s home and compared herself to Hollywood actress Madame Heidi Fleiss in interviews conducted in October 2005.

She brought over a buddy who is 23 years old, and Epstein informed her that acquaintance is too old.

The detective claimed that the teenager informed him, “The more you did, the more money you made.” “She clarified that you would have to give the massage either topless or nude, and there would be a massage or possibly some touching involved.”

Another teenager testified that beginning when she was sixteen, she spent hundreds of visits to Epstein’s home in the early 2000s. According to her testimony, Epstein gave her $1,000 the time he sexually assaulted her, hired her a car, and paid her $200 each time she gave him a massage while she was nude.

There was proof to back up the girls’ testimony found in Epstein’s residence during a 2005 police raid. Detectives were also informed by Epstein’s housekeeper that the teenagers that visited the estate were “very young.” Far too young to work as a masseuse.

In 2018, Epstein faced charges of federal sex trafficking in New York, where he also owned an abusive mansion. This came about as a result of a series of articles published in the Miami Herald, which brought the case back to the public’s attention. The articles featured interviews with victims who had been pursuing civil lawsuits against Epstein. In August 2019, Epstein, then 66 years old, committed suicide in a New York City detention cell, according to federal officials.

The transcripts, according to Delgado’s order, demonstrate Epstein’s status as “the most infamous pedophile in American history.”

“The tale of how Jeffrey Epstein exploited some of Palm Beach County’s most vulnerable has been the focus of intense ire and has occasionally damaged the public’s image of the criminal justice system for nearly 20 years,” Delgado wrote.(Source)

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