Jeffrey Epstein and his associates could be facing federal criminal prosecutions based upon the evidence. However, building a case against them could require years, legal experts in sex trafficking say.
Epstein kept a detailed record of his contacts in a small black book. He was photographed with many influential figures including former President Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, Prince Andrew of Great Britain, and former President Donald Trump.
Epstein’s long-time pilot Larry Visoski testified that he had seen Trump, Clinton and the disgraced actor Kevin Spacey during Epstein’s criminal trial. His testimony did not contain any specific allegations. One Maxwell accuser testified under pseudonym that Maxwell boasted about her connections with powerful figures.
Despite the fact that there is evidence for criminal prosecutions such as Epstein’s little black book or the Maxwell trial testimony, the legal action against Epstein and his alleged associates was limited to civil lawsuits brought by victims and attorneys.
Benjamin Bull, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s chief legal counsel, said that prosecutors should not be “salivating,” in order to get justice for Epstein’s victims. Bull stated to the Daily Caller that any serious prosecutor would be proud of this “little black book”.
He continued, “It’s an outline leading to those guilty of trafficking children among Epstein’s friends and benefactors such as Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, Duke and other prominent but culpable persecutors.” This sex trafficking ring is a scandal in waiting. Law enforcement has not taken action. We need to know why these people aren’t being prosecuted and charged. This is classic influence-peddling corruption in law enforcement. Why no action? “The silence is deafening.”
Bull, a former prosecutor in child pornography and obscenity cases, has won numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also taught Justice Department prosecutors, many state attorneys general, and prosecutorial organisations.
A prosecution and investigation involving broad-ranging criminal activities by sextrafkers can take many years. The international scale of Epstein’s activities may slow down the process.
Jane Anderson, a former prosecutor for human trafficking in Miami-Dade County said that it is not unusual for cases of human trafficking to take many years to investigate and prosecute. “Investigators should follow up on all evidence and victims of sexual assault or exploitation, and prosecutors should also investigate all sex crime.”
Prosecutors have the ability to obtain primary evidence sources such as interviews, digital evidence and public and government records. Financial records are also available. Anderson explained to the Caller that some evidence may require probable cause or other legal standards and tools such as court orders, search warrants or subpoenas.
Anderson states that a criminal case can be proven beyond reasonable doubt if at most one witness is available to testify.
“The law of most states clearly says that a case can only be established beyond reasonable doubt on the testimony one witness. Anderson stated that most prosecutors prefer to have evidence to back up the victim’s testimony, whether it is physical, psychological, circumstantial or direct.
Anderson said that prosecutors may pursue a case using other primary evidence or witness testimony if there are no victims who can testify. If victims are too traumatized or fearful to testify, prosecutors can pursue related charges based upon organized crime statutes and money laundering.
Anderson stated that sex trafficking rings typically commit additional crimes as part the criminal enterprise. These include physical and sexual violence as well as financial crimes, image-abuse crime, stalking, intimidation, and drug crimes.
“Organized crime statutes, and conspiracy statutes should also be considered. Anderson said that there are other prostitution-related offenses that could be used for the prosecution of traffickers and ‘buyers’. However, these are usually misdemeanors, or low-level felony crimes depending on where they are located. Anderson said that it is a good investigative and prosecutorial strategy for the prosecution to concentrate on the entire criminal activity of an offender to better hold them accountable, regardless of whether or not a victim is available to testify.
Carol Merchasin, a lawyer and investigator into sexual abuse, says that sextrafficking statutes cover a wide range of activities that are not usually associated with sex traficking.
Merchasin explained to the Caller that sextrafficking by fraud, force, or coercion doesn’t require people to move across borders or states, nor does it require money to change hands. “Fraudulently inducing someone else to have sex in return for career advancement promises could be considered sex trafficking and anyone who is a beneficiary can be held responsible under the statute. No matter what happens in the federal criminal investigation into Epstein’s circle of accomplices, victims of sextrafficking can bring civil lawsuits against those who trafficked or benefitted from this trafficking.
Merchasin noted that Harvey Weinstein, a disgraced film producer, was found guilty in sex trafficking after he made false promises in return for sexual sex. This means that sex trafficking is carried out by a surprising number of people, according to the law. Merchasin said that the traffickers aren’t criminal gangs or international financiers. They are gurus, spiritual leaders or heads of religious cults.
The Trump administration’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking was updated by the Biden administration. It emphasizes the prosecutorial strategy to target related crimes by sextrafficking rings, if victims are not able to testify. It also includes strategies to improve law enforcement coordination and legal capacity in prosecuting sextrafficking.
“Many human trafficking offenses can go back years. They involve hundreds or even thousands of victims and they cross borders. An investigation could uncover a large network of co-conspirators who may be culpable to the victim. This includes facilitators and buyers of goods or labor who profit financially. According to the action plan, asset forfeiture or restitution can be a valuable and efficient tool in these cases.
Trafficking Victims Protection Act, (TVPA) allows victims to bring civil action against traffickers or financial beneficiaries of sex slavery. The TVPA required that victims bring claims within 10 year of the offense, or 18 years if they were minors at the time. Congress passed legislation in 2022 that removed the statute of limitations on civil claims for minors who were trafficked.
There are legal options for Epstein victims whose civil cases are not subject to the statute of limitations. New York’s Child Victims Act, which extends the statute of limitations in civil and criminal cases involving sexual assault, is an example.
Virginia Giuffre, a prominent Epstein accuser, named eight of her alleged associates as the “Epstein Eight” in her civil lawsuit against Maxwell. Insider reported that Loretta Preska, a New York judge, promised to reveal the identities of eight people. The only exception was “Doe183”.
According to Insider, Preska stated that the “Doe 183′ name will be kept secret because of the alleged relationship between Epstein and him. Insider discovered that the individual had made a long-running legal effort to keep personal information private and shared a lawyer with Les Wexner (alleged Epstein benefactor).
Andrew and Giuffre settled a civil sexual assault suit for $3 million. Andrew was not charged with any crime. According to The Guardian, Giuffre claimed that Andrew had sexually assaulted and raped her three times when she was 17. Andrew is ready to sue Guiffre for a retraction of her claims and an apology.
According to Reuters, Epstein victims filed a civil suit against J.P. Morgan Chase as well as Deutsche Bank over their enabling of Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation. Bloomberg reports that the lawsuit claims Jes Staley, a former executive at J.P. Morgan, was involved in Epstein’s sex trading operation. J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and others are attempting to dismiss the lawsuits claiming that they were not involved in Epstein’s sexual trafficking operation.
Denise George, former U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney general, won a $105million settlement with the Epstein estate. The settlement requires Epstein to sell his private island Little St. James. Epstein committed many crimes on the island which is currently up for sale at $125 million.
Epstein was in jail in 2019 as he waited for his trial on federal sex crime charges. His suicide was ruled.
Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a New York court on June 28, 2022 for sex trafficking offenses.