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CESE Online Global Summit: Why Department of Justice continues to cover up Jeffrey Epstein's trafficking network

Epstein's non-prosecution agreement said that anybody that was involved with him, be it, perpetrators or procurers, they were let off scot-free
UPDATED JUL 27, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Jeffrey Epstein sex-trafficking scandal was one of the most high-profile cases that shocked not only the whole country but the entire world. Epstein was a registered sex offender after a 2004 investigation revealed that he had sexually assaulted several women, including minors. In 2019, he was arrested for his involvement in a child sex-trafficking network, and a month later, he was found dead in his jail cell. But the question remains. Did the Justice Department cover up Epstein's child-trafficking network before and after his death?

Author and advocate Nick Bryant demonstrated and looked at the reasons for covering up Epstein's network in a session for the Coalition to End Sex Exploitation (CESE) Online Global Summit hosted by National Centre on Sex Exploitation (NCOSE). Bryant has been looking into child-trafficking networks for over 18 years and also investigated the Epstein's trafficking network before the case broke nationally. 

In 2004, Epstein came under scrutiny after a 14-year-old girl reported to the police that he had molested her. The ensuing investigations were kept hush, but it was also tenacious at the same time. Epstein, a billionaire, was still a powerful man but the investigation had to be conducted because the victim had provided the police with accurate details of Epstein's home where she was assaulted and his anatomy. The perpetrator was looking at potential five counts of child abuse when the Palm Beach, Florida, police department attempted to issue a warrant to search his house. When the police served the search warrant for his home, the case was suddenly snatched from them and taken to a grand jury which was a very instance because only capital cases go to grand juries. However, grand juries are notoriously corrupt. It is made up of regular citizens showing up duty along with a special prosecutor who is responsible for showing them evidence.

Jennifer Araoz, 32, claims that Jeffrey Epstein raped her in his New York townhouse in 2002 when she was only 14 (Getty Images)

A famed neurotic judge once said that a special prosecutor had so much power over the grand jury that he could get to indict a ham sandwich. That is exactly what happened on July 27, 2007, says Bryant. The Palm Beach police department had statements from five girls and corresponding statements from a number of people that corroborated the girls. Despite that, the grand jury only charged Epstein with one count of adult solicitation. As a result, Palm Beach PD took a lot of heat but refused to back down. When the grand jury came back and did not indict Epstein on any counts of child abuse, Michael Ryder, the chief of police of Palm Beach PD got very vociferous. The Department of Justice, then suddenly announced the impaneling of the grand jury to investigate Epstein. The grand jury was then adjourned, and the Department of Justice started clandestine negotiations with Epstein and his competent attorneys, Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr. The Justice Department had been working out the particulars of Epstein's pleas deal. It had a list of 32 victims who came forward, accusing Epstein of sexual assaults.

Bryant displayed a chain of emails within his presentation of a conversation between an assistant US attorney, A Marie Villafana, and an Epstein attorney, which clearly shows how they concocted a way to make sure that Epstein was given the lightest sentence possible. They knew what they were doing was right, yet the Department of Justice helped in Epstein's arraignment and got a certain magistrate to sign off on it. Then the Justice Department sealed Epstein's plea deal without notifying the victims in a violation of the Crime Victims Rights Act. Epstein's attorneys then launched a civil suit, palm Beach PD posted an appeal on sealing his agreement. The government's sealing of the agreement was overturned in the 4th District Court of Appeals. Epstein's non-prosecution agreement said that anybody that was involved with him, be it, perpetrators or procurers, they were let off scot-free. "That's one of the reasons why the Department of Justice did not want to let anyone know that they made such a horrific deal with a child molester," Bryant explained.

Jeffrey Epstein's residence at 9 East 71st Street in the Manhattan borough of New York on July 18, 2019, in New York City (Getty Images)

Shortly after Jeffrey's death, US Attorney General William Barr said Epstein's co-conspirators should not rest easy. In August 2019, the New York Times published an article, naming six women accused of procuring for Epstein, including Ghislaine Maxwell, Sarah Kellen, Leslie Groff, Adriana Ross, Nadia Marcinkova and Haley Robson. In the article, Robson even admitted to procuring for Epstein. A Reuters report from later that year said that the Justice Department is silent on Maxwell, Epstein's primary procurer, and also named a perpetrator in several lawsuits.

Despite proof of documents and articles, according to the Justice Department, even in December, "the probe remains at an early stage". According to the Miami Herald, Virginia Giuffre, a victim of Epstein, settled a 2017 defamation lawsuit against Maxwell and received million. The lawsuit said that Maxwell had been a perpetrator and Maxwell sued Giuffre for defamation. Giuffre sued her back and was ultimately given millions of dollars to settle the lawsuit. By the end of January, three additional women in their lawsuits had accused Maxwell of being a perpetrator. 

In another New York Times article from March 2020, investigators tried to determine who may have assisted Epstein in recruiting young girls and women to be sexually abused and who may have moved money to further his efforts. Multiple sources named Maxwell, but it was also obvious that the Department of Justice did not want to indict her. While multiple witnesses accounted for Maxwell's involvement, it was becoming increasingly obvious that the Justice Department was covering it up.

Epstein had a butler, Alfredo Rodriguez, who stole his black book and tried to peddle it to various attorneys that were launching civil suits at Epstein. One of the attorneys then called the FBI and Rodriguez was ensnared in a sting. According to the affidavit of an FBI agent, the black book contained "names and contact information of material witnesses and additional victims". Material witnesses are people that would be integral and decisive about a crime. Rodrigues had encircled the names of potential material witnesses and also victims. There were a lot more victims than those mentioned in Epstein's black book.

Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, speaks to the media at a press conference to announce the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime girlfriend and accused accomplice of deceased accused sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, on July 02, 2020, in New York City (Getty Images)

A memo from 2006 shows that the Palm Beach PD first executed their search warrant against Epstein, and he knew they were coming for him. A number of things had been taken out like the computers were clear of pornography, but he hadn't taken out a couple of covert cameras. In November 2019, an Epstein victim, Maria Farmer, divulged on CBS News about Epstein's blackmail equipment in his New York mansion.

A former girlfriend of Epstein told Vanity Fair in August 2019 that he said to her, "I collect people, I own people. I can damage people." When she asked Maxwell how she felt about the underage girls that Epstein was molesting she reportedly said: "They're nothing. These girls, they are trash." A New York Times reporter who had gotten close to Epstein wrote in an article after Epstein's death that: "Mr Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and he had photos to prove it. He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposedly sexual proclivities and recreational drug use."

After Epstein's home was raided, federal authorities seized thousands of pornographic images, but nothing about that was ever heard again. One would think the Department of Justice would want to look into these images and see the girls were abused, but there have been no reports of that and neither have there been reports of his compact disks. The Department of Justice is continuing this cover-up, said Bryant.

Epstein molested scores and scores of girls and the government sentenced him to 18 months in county jail, back in 2008. However, he was let out after serving 13 months. Alexander Accosta, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, was the one that signed off Epstein's deal in 2008. He was later bumped up to become Donald Trump's labor secretary. When he was asked about it, while transitioning between his roles, he reportedly said that he had been told to back off because Epstein was above his pay grade. "I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone," Accosta reportedly said.