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Financier Jeffrey Epstein allegedly had improper sexual contact with young women while in jail: Lawyer
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services via Reuters
Jeffrey Epstein allegedly continued to see young women during time served
Wealthy financier andconvicted sex offenderJeffrey Epstein continued to have visits from young women that allegedly resulted in sexual liaisons while he was in jail in Florida, a lawyer for one of his accusers said Tuesday.
Attorney Brad Edwards, who represents Epstein accuser Courtney Wild and several other alleged victims, claims that Epsteins 13-month jail sentence — the result of a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in Florida — failed to prevent the money manager accused of sexually assaulting numerous underage girls from having improper sexual contact with young women.
At a Tuesday press conference in New York, Edwards said that a recent newspaperarticle– citing a Palm Beach County sheriffs deputy — described Epstein as a model prisoner during his jail term in West Palm Beach in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution in a deal with federal prosecutors that was kept hidden from Epsteins alleged victims.
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services via Reuters
U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services sex offender registry, March 28, 2017, and obtained by Reuters, July 10, 2019.
Despite being a registered sex offender, Epstein was allowed by the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office to participate in a work-release program that permitted him to spend up to 16 hours a day, six days a week at an office in West Palm Beach that housed his non-profit organization, the Florida Science Foundation.
Most of the time was spent in an office, a private office that was adjacent to his lawyers office all day every day, Edwards contended at the press conference. And what youre going to learn is he was not sitting there conducting some scientific research for the betterment of the community, but he was having office visitors, some who were flown to him from New York and continuing to engage in similar conduct, literally while he was in jail.
Edwards said he does not know the exact ages of the visitors, but that he knows of none that were under the age of 18.
I do know that he was able to have visitors that were under the age of 21…, Edwards said.
He said he had interviewed one young woman who personally visited Epstein at his work-release office.
It was not for some business arrangement and it was for, if youre in jail, improper sexual contact, said Edwards, who declined to identify the woman.
Courtney Wild looks on as attorney Brad Edwards speaks at a news conference regarding financier Jeffrey Epsteins sex trafficking case in New York, July 16, 2019.
Federal prosecutors have yet to comment on the allegations alleged by Edwards.
Epstein, 66 — who at one time socialized with former President Bill Clinton, Great Britains Prince Andrew, and President Donald Trump — was arrested on July 6 for alleged sex trafficking of minor girls in Florida and New York. Some of the charges date back to the early 2000s.
A team of law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) took Epstein into custody at the Teterboro Airport in Bergen County, New Jersey, after he returned to the United States by private jet from France, sources told ABC News. Authorities also raided Epsteins New York City mansion and seized evidence.
Since his arrest, Epstein has been held in custody without bail. Federal prosecutors have asked a judge tokeep him in jail as his case proceedsbecause they suspect he is a flight risk. Epsteins attorneys argue that he is entitled to bail.
Edwards client, Wild, and one other accuser, Annie Farmer, testified at Mondays detention hearing in Manhattan federal court. Both women spoke in support of keeping Epstein locked up without bail.
Farmer said she was 16 when Epstein had her sent to New Mexico where he was inappropriate with her. Wild told the judge she was 14 when Epstein sexually abused her in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein appeared to watch them address the judge but his face showed no emotion.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman said he will decide on Thursday whether to grant Epsteins release or, as pre-trial services recommended, keep him jailed.
During Tuesdays news conference in New York, Wild read a statement asking other alleged victims to come forward.
If you have already made the decision to come forward, thank you. If you have not, the time is now, Wild said. To every victim out there I understand what you are going through. You may feel scared, or have feelings of shame and guilt, or feel alone. You may try to convince yourself that this was a long time ago and you have moved on. But you are not alone and this was not your fault.
If you are a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, then you know what I know, that he will never stop sexually abusing children until he is in jail, Wild said. We will not get justice unless you speak out.
Wild, identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1, sued the Department of Justice in 2008, alleging that a non-prosecution agreement reached with Epstein by federal prosecutors in South Florida was hatched in violation of theCrime Victims Rights Act, which enumerates the rights afforded to victims in federal criminal cases, including the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
In February of this year, U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra ruled in favor of Wild and other Epstein accusers, finding that the federal government failed to confer with the victims in advance of the deal. Marra is now considering the possible remedies for the violation, which could potentially include tearing up the non-prosecutions agreement.
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