Federal prosecutors are once again making sure that Jeffrey Epstein avoids jail time for sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in southern Florida.
The Department of Justice is siding with the convicted pedophile, now 66, in response to a motion filed by two of his victims to toss out the sweetheart plea deal that saw him serve just 13 months in custody rather than life in prison.
The women, named as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 in court documents, said in their initial filing that the non-prosecution agreement in the case should be voided because they were not consulted about or even informed of the details of the deal Epstein worked out with prosecutors.
The victims who filed the motion were 13 and 14 at the time of the abuse, while the prosecutor was Alex Acosta, who is now President Trump’s Secretary of Labor.
That violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act is not enough to void Epstein’s deal though argued Byung J. Pak, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
He wrote later in his filing that the underprivileged victims, who were recruited from middle and high schools, are not even owed an apology from the Department of Justice.
Over 40 girls were brought to Epstein’s Palm Beach estate for sexual encounters according to court documents, most of whom were underprivileged and recruited from middle and high schools in the area.
Off the hook: The Department of Justice filed its response to two Jeffery Epstein victims, who were 13 and 14 at the time of their their abuse, to retry the pedophile (above in 2008 at trial)
‘Petitioners seek what they call “rescission remedies,” “apology remedies,” “informational remedies,” “educational remedies,” and “miscellaneous remedies” —all of which constitute equitable relief, and none of which is authorized by the CVRA,’ writes Pak.
‘But even if the statute did allow equitable relief, Petitioners are not entitled to the specific relief they are seeking.’
The government places high value in its work to support victims of crime, and its communications with victims must reflect that value. The government regrets that the manner in which it communicated the resolution of the Epstein case to the victims fell short.
-Government’s Response to Petitioners’ Proposed Remedies
He later writes that Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 could potentially cause injury to those victims who received restitution from Epstein, though they are among those who were compensated in the wake of the court ruling.
Pak does admit ‘the government should have communicated with the victims in a straightforward and transparent way’ later in the filing.
‘Because the government did not communicate more clearly and directly with the victims, the resolution in this case has led some to conclude that the government chose for improper reasons not to prosecute Epstein, a conclusion that remains unsubstantiated,’ writes Pak.
‘The government places high value in its work to support victims of crime, and its communications with victims must reflect that value. The government regrets that the manner in which it communicated the resolution of the Epstein case to the victims fell short.’
This is again reiterated in Pak’s closing statement, which balances how the victims were failed by prosecutors before rejecting the plaintiffs demands.
‘The government’s commitment in the decade since this action was filed to combat human trafficking and child exploitation and protect victims of such offenses underscores that its conduct in this matter, no matter how well-intentioned, fell short of the government’s dedication to serve victims to the best of its ability,’ writes Pak.
‘While the Court cannot unwind the past, the remedies proposed by the government would give the victims a meaningful opportunity to have their voices heard and to understand, if not accept, the decisions made in this matter.’
‘I was never told that any of my 16 victim clients were part of Epstein’s charges in state court. I can tell you that when the judge asked the prosecutor whether the victims were informed, and she said that they were, that mine were not.
-Lawyer for lone victim, 16, Esptein admitted to soliciting in plea deal
He then adds: ‘Petitioners’ requested remedies, on the other hand, run afoul of the remedial scheme contemplated by the CVRA, are contrary to law, and may cause unintended harm to the victims whose interests are also protected by the CVRA.’
Federal prosecutors urged the judge who is hearing the case in the Southern District of Florida to instead offer the victims a public hearing during which they could discuss the agreement deal and allow for the women to meet with a government official who could explain the deal.
Earlier this year, The Miami Herald spoke with the lawyer who represented 16 of the girls in the case, including the girl, 16, who would become the lone minor Epstein admitted to soliciting for a sex act.
‘I was never told that any of my 16 victim clients were part of Epstein’s charges in state court,’ said Robert Josefsberg.
‘I can tell you that when the judge asked the prosecutor whether the victims were informed, and she said that they were, that mine were not.’
The Washington Post had reported just days before that the victim who Epstein admitted to soliciting for prostitution was not the 14-year-old girl who first reported the millionaire money manager, but rather this 16-year-old victim.
This was kept a secret because her age was left blank on court documents.
Assistant State Attorney Lanna Belohlavek was asked at the end of the trial if the victims were in agreement with the deal that had been put in place, to which she responded: ‘Yes.’
Rejecting: Byung J. Pak, US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, wrote in his filing that the underprivileged victims, who were recruited from middle and high schools, are not even owed an apology from the DOJ
That victim’s age meant that Epstein did not have to register as a sex offender in states like New Mexico, where he owns a 7,600-acre property called Zorro Ranch, and has allowed him to be classified as a low risk offender in the US Virgin Islands, which is currently his primary residence.
Police in Palm Beach turned over the information they had gathered on Epstein’s victims to federal authorities in November 2006 after investigating the case for roughly a year following an initial call in March 2005 from a woman who claimed her daughter, 14, had been paid $300 to give Epstein a massage in just her underwear.
While the Court cannot unwind the past, the remedies proposed by the government would give the victims a meaningful opportunity to have their voices heard and to understand, if not accept, the decisions made in this matter. Petitioners’ requested remedies, on the other hand, run afoul of the remedial scheme contemplated by the CVRA, are contrary to law, and may cause unintended harm to the victims whose interests are also protected by the CVRA.
– Government’s Response to Petitioners’ Proposed Remedies
Local authorities also filed a probable cause affidavit in May 2006 saying they believed there was enough evidence to charge Epstein with four counts of unlawful sex with minors and one count of molestation.
In the end, these charges were taken to a grand jury despite the recommendation of police, who came back with just one charge against Epstein – felony solicitation of prostitution.
Epstein initially pleaded not guilty to that charge in August 2006, but changed that plea after singing his plea agreement a little over a year later.
On June 30, 2008 Epstein pleaded guilty to a single state charge of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, and ultimately served just 13 months of his 18-month sentence.
That time was served not in a prison, but rather the Palm Beach Stockade, which is a local detention center.
Epstein was also allowed to leave six days a week to go work out of his West Palm Beach office during his time behind bars.
After his release he did have to register as a sex offender.
Shortly after Esptein’s release his butler Alfredo Rodriguez – whose duties included washing sex toys he would find scattered on the floor of Epstein’s many houses according to New York – also received an 18-month prison sentence on an obstruction charge when it was discovered that he had been trying to sell a journal in which he recorded his boss’ activities.
DailyMail.com revealed that Rodriguez kept a black book of Epstein’s contacts — which he referred to as ‘The Holy Grail.’ or ‘Golden Nugget.’ The dozens of entries included contact details for A-list names including former President Bill Clinton, Mick Jagger, Donald Trump, Earl Spencer, Barbara Walters, Henry Kissinger and at least three members of the Kennedy clan.
Social: Pak did urge the judge in the case to allow victims a public hearing to discuss the agreement and make official available to explain the deal to these women (Epstein above in 2005 at a film screening with sugar tycoon Pepe Fanjul)
Court papers state that Rodriguez argued that he needed to keep the journal as insurance – as he feared Epstein would make him ‘disappear’.
Court papers also reveal that Rodriguez witnessed nude girls whom he believed were underage at the pool area of the home and knew that his former employer was engaging in sexual contact with underage girls and had viewed pornographic images of underage girls on his home computers.
U.S. District Judge Marra, who is the same man being asked to consider this current case, said when he was sentencing Rodriguez for obstruction: ‘If this book had been produced when requested, Mr. Epstein’s sentence may have been significantly different.’
The plaintiffs’ filing claims that Epstein – who was facing up to 15 years in prison on that one conviction – was able to get his ‘sweetheart deal’ due to the pressure his legal team placed on State Attorney Krischer and Acosta.
Epstein’s team was made up of some of the country’s most prominent legal minds, including Alan Dershowitz, Roy Black and Kenneth Starr.
Repeat offender: Over 40 girls were brought to Epstein’s Palm Beach home according to court documents (mugshot above)
Dershowitz later got caught up in some of the allegations as well when he was accused of having sex with an underage girl procured by Epstein, something he strongly denied and said was completely false.
The defense team, U.S. Attorney and State Attorney ‘were conferring daily’ according to this new court filing, with Epstein’s team working to get him immunity from federal charges by paying restitution to the victims.
Epstein then signed a non-prosecution agreement in September 2007, meaning he would only be facing state charges for his crimes.
The victims where never notified of this non-prosecution agreement over the course of the next nine months according to the filing, though many did begin to receive restitution after being identified as victims by the government.
One of the victim’s attorneys, Edwards, also claims that he was led to believe that federal charges would still be filed as of June 2008, just days before Epstein pleaded guilty to the one state charge.
The court filing also claims that at this same time the government was working with Epstein about how to keep his victims from ever learning the details of his non-prosecution agreement and how to handle and defend the situation should it ever become public.
Epstein now splits his time between his townhouse in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, his Palm Beach mansion and a U.S. Virgin Islands property in Little Saint James.
He has never been married.