In a staggering and disturbing expose, the Miami Herald recently detailed how hedge fund mogul, and multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, (whose friends include some of the wealthiest and influential people in the world such as Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Prince Andrew) was let off the hook in an extraordinarily unusual secret plea deal after being accused of “assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls… to coerce into sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day.”
As a money manager for the ultra wealthy around the globe, Epstein wielded power and prestige, using his position to sexually manipulate vulnerable children. Courtney Wild, who was fourteen when she was abused by Epstein, said, “Jeffrey preyed on girls who were in a bad way, girls who were basically homeless. He went after girls who he thought no one would listen to and he was right.’’
Jeffrey preyed on girls who were in a bad way, girls who were basically homeless. He went after girls who he thought no one would listen to and he was right.
His pattern used countless times over many years was to lure naive girls to his mansion, offer to pay them for massages, but then coerce them into performing sex acts for himself and others. However, according to FBI records, not only was Epstein engaging in sex trafficking of children from the US, but he was also suspected of “trafficking minor girls, often from overseas, for sex parties at his other homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the Caribbean.”
Despite corroborating evidence that he was guilty, he was offered a secret deal that gave him only 13 months in jail–a slap on the wrist compared to the life in federal prison charge he could have gotten otherwise based on what is known about the extent of his perverted operation.
Equally as horrifying is that the deal prohibited any investigation into co-conspirator pedophiles and traffickers, kept the deal hidden from his victims until it was approved by a judge so that they couldn’t oppose it, and cut off what could have been an investigation uncovering a much larger international sex trafficking ring.
the deal prohibited any investigation into co-conspirator pedophiles and traffickers, kept the deal hidden from his victims… and cut off what could have been an investigation uncovering a much larger international sex trafficking ring.
At the end of the day, a wealthy and powerful man with friends in high places was able to manipulate the justice system to work in his favor to the detriment of countless victims—literally countless because the deal he was given prevented anyone from ever finding out how many children he and his cronies preyed upon.
But it doesn’t end there. The story takes an even darker turn when it is uncovered that our current secretary of labor, Alexander Acosta who is in charge of overseeing US labor laws, including human trafficking, and who is on a short list of possible candidates for attorney general– assisted in making the deal in 2007 to let Epstein and potential co-conspirators off the hook.
What this all makes clear is that the fight against trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation is being hindered by the very people who are supposed to be helping—as power, prestige and cronyism is being deemed more important than justice for the most vulnerable among us.
Dr. Eleanor Gaetan, the Legislative Advisor for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW) says this all amounts to a “bipartisan conspiracy to silence victims of sexual violence in order to protect the status—and money—of powerful men.”
After many years of being silenced, Epstein’s victims are beginning to see a glimmer of hope as the story of this injustice is finally coming to the attention of the public. A lawsuit named the federal Crime Victim’s Rights suit is currently pending in South Florida and aims to invalidate the allegedly illegal deal that was given to Epstein in order to try and send him to federal prison. Hopefully the national spotlight on this story will help push the lawsuit forward.
As important as it is to hold Epstein accountable for what he has done, it is equally important to demand that Congress remove his enablers, such as Alexander Acosta, from their positions of power and with enough public outrage they may be pressured to do so. To this end, a petition demanding Congress impeach Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has been developed and you can access and sign that petition online. As the tide of injustice continues to swell in the US and around the globe we must continue to push back, and to use our voices to stand up for those who have been silenced.