Jeffrey Epstein could have gone to prison for life.
The money manager was accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion between 2001 and 2006. But as Julie K. Brown reports at the Miami Herald, he ultimately got just 13 months in a county jail, thanks to a deal signed by Alexander Acosta, then the US Attorney for Miami and now President Trump’s secretary of labor. On Tuesday, Epstein settled a lawsuit in which some of his accusers were expected to testify, avoiding yet again the prospect of facing the women in court.
Epstein has said that any encounters he had with his accusers were consensual, and that he believed they were 18 at the time.
The story of how Epstein got such a light sentence — and who was involved — is a master class in the power dynamics that have been exposed by the #MeToo movement but have yet to truly change.
When authorities began investigating Epstein, he assembled a team of private investigators to dig up dirt on the girls who accused him and the police and prosecutors working the case. Then he and his team of powerful lawyers — including Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr — were able to convince prosecutors to go easy on him despite disturbing allegations by a growing number of women and girls. (According to Axios, Dershowitz is still advising Epstein, saying, “He has called me a couple of times about legal issues, because I’m still technically his lawyer.”)
Epstein was proud of his “collection” of famous friends, which included Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, and there’s long been speculation that some of these friends may have participated in his abuses. But because he has been able to avoid harsh punishment and minimize publicity around the details of his case, he’s also been able to keep details about anyone else who may have been involved out of the public eye.
The fact that Epstein is free today is a reminder that the American justice system has long been all too willing to ignore the words of girls and women, especially when they accuse a wealthy and influential man. It’s a reminder that those with enough money and connections, from Epstein to Harvey Weinstein, can often manipulate the legal system to serve their own ends. And it shows how one powerful person can protect not just himself but anyone who might be connected to him, all while exploiting those who are powerless.
The best justice filthy money can buy.
|If Only Epstein Had Done It In a Pizza Parlour, He'd Have Been Punished.||233||Jock||10-Dec-18 09:04|
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