Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide hasn’t proved to be the end of his strange, sordid case. Instead, it feels like just the beginning of some sort of massive unraveling.
The big Epstein-centric story of the week is that the MIT Media Lab took massive donations from Epstein and took active steps to hide where it was coming from. That’s bad enough, one might admit, especially since Bill Gates is wrapped up in it.
However, lost in all of this were some revelations about just how ridiculously lenient, creepy and suspicious the terms of Epstein’s first prison sentence were.
In case you’ve forgotten, as part of a plea deal the first time he got in trouble for the alleged sex trafficking of teenage girls, Epstein was given the kind of treatment that even “sweetheart deal” doesn’t seem to encompass.
He was only charged with Florida state offenses. He was let out on work release in spite of the fact that sex offenders weren’t eligible. His jail cell was unlocked.
This was already redolent of how Bugsy Siegel was treated. By the time his case got turned over to the sheriff’s office, things got even more ridiculous.
And a lawsuit alleges those terms allowed him to sexually assault a young girl.
According to a report from the U.K. Daily Mail, the final weeks of his 2009 sentence were handled with even more offensive laxity than the rest of his sentence.
“The convicted sex offender was allowed out on work release every day of the week in the final weeks of his incarceration, with records obtained by DailyMail.com showing that he was approved for daily leave from 7am to 11pm by Captain David Sleeth in an email sent to deputies on June 1, 2009,” the paper reported Monday.
The paper also reported that he had been given access to his mansion in Palm Beach — the same mansion where he had allegedly assaulted the young women in question. He was allowed to visit for two hours each afternoon. And yes, the young women apparently still streamed in.
It wasn’t just in the mansion that he got inappropriate company, either.
“His most frequent jail visitors were ‘Yugoslavian sex slave’ Nadia Marcinkova and alleged recruiter Sarah Kellen, the latter of whom avoided criminal charges as part of her boss’ sweetheart deal,” the Daily Mail reported.
One of the multitudinous lawsuits against Epstein by an alleged victim claims she was sexually assaulted during this period.
“Katelyn Doe said in a court filing that Epstein hired her as an employee of his Florida Science Foundation in March 2009 when she was just 18, with officials approving the decision to let the teenager work in the company of a convicted sex offender who was still in prison.,” the Daily Mail reported.
“The complaint stated that Katelyn ‘believed she was flown to be legitimately employed by Defendant Florida Science, but learned once there that Jeffrey Epstein and those with whom he conspired to transport [Katelyn] knew that this fraudulent representation was made to cause [Katelyn] to engage in commercial sex acts with Jeffrey Epstein at his “work release” office.’
“It goes on to claim that Katelyn was ‘made to engage in sexual encounters with Jeffrey Epstein — both alone with Epstein during which she engaged in sexual intercourse, and also on one occasion with another young female and Epstein.’”
True? Well, we may never know now, thanks to the wonderful competence of the men and women of the Manhattan Correctional Center.
There’s one thing that we do know, which is that this was a sex offender who was treated with the most exceptional leniency. It also so happened he was rich and powerful and also a friend of the rich and powerful.
If conspiracy theories pop up around this man and his demise, well, that’s nobody’s fault but the men and women who were responsible for prosecuting and jailing him. All they had to do a decade ago is not give him a sweetheart deal, considering the evidence they had. They didn’t.
All they had to do when federal prosecutors weren’t going to give him a sweetheart deal in 2019 is keep him alive. They didn’t.
Katelyn Doe’s case is part of what the South Florida Sun-Sentinel describes as “a wave of civil lawsuits” prompted by Epstein’s death, “as well as promises by prosecutors in New York to seek charges against Epstein’s accomplices in the alleged sex trafficking ring.”
One can only hope that’s the case. Promises haven’t gone very far when it’s come to Jeffrey Epstein. However, there is one advantage this time around: Neither Epstein’s money nor his presence will do him any good this time.
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