abuse, Acosta, Alan Dershowitz, Death, Donald Barr, Epstein, Epstein murder, Epstein Suicide, Espstein trial, FBI, Glenn Dubin, Jeffrey Epstein, Justice Department, murder, New York, Pedophile, Prince Andrew, prison, rapist, secrets, sex trafficking, suicide, Suicide watch, Trump, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, William Barr
From “The Palm Beach Post”: “Jeffrey Epstein: ‘He could buy anything, including his own death’ By Lulu Ramadan ; By Jane Musgrave; By John Pacenti
Posted Aug 10, 2019 at 12:53 PM
Federal investigators are looking into the “apparent suicide” of multimillionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in a New York City jail cell.
One day after newly released federal court documents accused more powerful men of being complicit with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein , he hanged himself in a New York City jail cell early Saturday.
Like every turn in this bizarre saga, it provides few answers, only questions — questions about the circumstances of the multimillionare financier’s death, the lingering investigation into his alleged sex trafficking ring and the future of his vast wealth.
To one woman, who says Epstein raped her at age 15, it’s another betrayal.
“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court,” Jennifer Araoz told the New York Daily News. “We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crime he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people.”
The FBI and inspector general for the Justice Department, at the direction of Attorney General William Barr, are investigating what prison officials called Epstein’s “apparent suicide” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.
A lawyer who once represented Epstein and another who battled the financier in court both said they’re skeptical of reports that the 66-year-old killed himself.
“There were people out there who didn’t want information coming out, information that Epstein could use to negotiate a light prison sentence,” said West Palm Beach attorney Spencer Kuvin, who represented four Epstein accusers.
“I would be looking at banking records of any guards who work at that jail to see if they quit the job and bought a million dollar home.”
West Palm Beach lawyer Michael Pike, who represented Epstein in civil cases brought by his victims , said it’s “highly odd” that a high-profile inmate like Epstein wasn’t under intense surveillance.
“What New York now has is a crime scene,” Pike said. “The question is, ‘Was there substantial assistance from the inside or outside in connection with this event?’”
Epstein’s death came just two weeks after he was found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck. He was taken off the jail’s suicide watch list just days before his death, a federal prison official told the Associated Press.
Ron McAndrew, a former warden at Florida State Prison who now works as a consultant, scoffed at the notion that Epstein’s wasn’t on suicide watch.
“How convenient,” he said, sarcastically. “If he was on suicide watch and you allowed him to kill himself, the liability would be enormous.”
Given that Epstein apparently tried to harm himself two weeks ago and faced a maximum 45-year sentence if convicted of child sex trafficking charges, no responsible jail administrator would have allowed him to be taken off suicide watch, McAndrew said.
McAndrew, too, suggested a jail guard might have been paid by Epstein to look away.
“He had the means, and he truly wanted to die,” McAndrew said. “With his money, he could buy anything, including his own death.”
Shortly after the FBI announced an investigation into Epstein’s death, Barr ordered an internal investigation into how the federal Bureau of Prisons handled Epstein’s custody.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
President Donald Trump seemed to question the circumstances of Epstein’s death late Saturday when he promoted an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory posted to Twitter by comedian Terrence K. Williams.
Meanwhile, Epstein’s death isn’t a definite end to the investigation into his alleged sex trafficking ring — and any co-conspirators.
“The head of the snake is dead, but the rest of the people involved are still out there,” Kuvin said.
The day before his death, nearly 2,000 pages of once sealed documents released by a federal court unmasked the breadth of Epstein’s alleged trafficking operation.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused Epstein of sexually enslaving her as a 16-year-old, said in a deposition released Friday that Epstein forced her to have sex with several well-connected men, including Britain’s Prince Andrew, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, Epstein’s attorney and professor Alan Dershowitz, billionaire financier Glenn Dubin and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
All vehemently deny the accusations.
It’s unlikely that Epstein’s death will end the child sex trafficking probe or shield any of his accomplices, experts say.
“If there is independent evidence that proves there are co-conspirators, they can keep the investigation going,” said Palm Beach Gardens attorney and former FBI Special Agent Joseph Sconzo.
Val Rodriguez, a West Palm Beach attorney who practices federal law, said he’s litigated cases where the main defendant has died. He noted a $1 billion insurance fraud case in which the principal defendant had died of cancer.
“They indicted anybody anyway,” Rodriguez said. “Boyfriends, brothers. The death of a principal has little to do with how they conclude a case.”
Epstein attorney Dershowitz declined to speak about his client’s death Saturday.
“It’s just not appropriate for me to comment,” he said.
Epstein’s death is not the ending to a traumatizing saga his victims sought, said attorney Brad Edwards, who represents numerous Epstein victims.
“The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation and corruption unraveled is unfortunate yet predictable,” Edwards said in a statement.
Edwards says he plans to continue to represent the victims who still seek justice.
“In fact, his many co-conspirators who may have been fearful to speak out against him have been relieved of that excuse; this is their last chance to speak up.”
Epstein’s death raises the prospect of another courtroom drama.
If any of Epstein’s victims have a right to his vast wealth — because of outstanding civil lawsuits, for example — they can take their claim to court, said John Pankauski, a West Palm Beach probate and trust attorney.
“Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, or anyone else for that matter who he owes money to, for example,” Pankauski said.
Many of Epstein’s victims had hoped to see the well-connected money manager face consequences they say he evaded a decade ago when he pleaded guilty to two prostitution-related felonies despite the fact that police said he molested and sexually assaulted dozens of girls at his Palm Beach mansion.
Though Epstein was forced to register as a sex offender, the victims were shut out of the plea negotiations.
“It’s just unfortunate that the victims will never get full justice and to see him be punished to the full extent of the law,” said Adam Horowitz, another attorney who represented Epstein’s victims.
Epstein’s arrest last month on federal charges of sex trafficking minors led to separate investigations into how Palm Beach County officials handled the case brought against him in 2008.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, at the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, is looking into the deal cut by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office  and the jail privileges afforded to Epstein by Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
It’s unlikely that Epstein’s death will sway these investigations.
West Palm Beach attorney Sid Garcia, who represented a woman who accused Epstein of molesting her as a girl in his Palm Beach home, said she had a mixed reaction to her tormentor’s death.
“Disappointment with relief,” he said, summing up the emotions of the young woman who was 16 when she was recruited to give Epstein “massages.”
“She was looking forward to exposing him in court,” he said of his client who still lives in Palm Beach County. “She wanted to tell the story along with other victims who feel their lives were very badly hurt. To express the story in public would have been healing for her.”
In a statement, she said: “I’m in shock and never thought this day would come. I am relieved that Jeffrey Epstein will never be able to harm or sexually abuse another child.”
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