On July 6, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in New York on sex-trafficking charges that involve allegations going back nearly twenty years. According to the indictment, Epstein is accused of having his assistants find underage girls to perform massages and then forcing them into sex acts. While this is a heinous crime, it is not Epstein’s first go round with the legal system. In fact, he is already a registered sex offender.
The original issue came about in 2006 when a grand jury returned a single charge of felony soliciation of prostitution, in which he pleaded not guilty. Eventually, Epstein struck a plea deal with the feds granting him immunity from federal prosecution in return for pleading guilty to state charges. Epstein received a 13-month sentence and was allowed to participate in a work release program as well.
The current allegations, which may possibly be tied to the previous crimes, have now brought the previous plea agreement back into the limelight. According to one person, the plea deal is invalid under federal law because it did not consult with the victims. However, Epstein’s attorney argues that he upheld his end of the deal. Some of the girls involved are as young as 14 years old.
Epstein received most of his wealth from a company he founded known as J. Epstein & Co., a financial management firm with clients who have a net worth of more than $1 billion USD. Epstein has used his wealth and his celebrity status to befriend such people as President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and more. In the previous case, the plea agreement which was handled by then U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now President Trump’s Secretary of Labor. The case was so convulated that Florida state attorney Barry Krischner received a letter from Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter asking him to remove himself from the caes and considered the outcome “highly unusual.”
Epstein went on to own several homes in various states and in the Carribean. In New York, he was listed as a level three offender (high risk of recidivism). After his imprisonment, Epstein was placed on year of probation, but was still allowed to travel to various other states on his private jet, nicknamed “Lolita Express” by the media.
The question now one must ask is if sex offenders are the most despised group of criminals, especially those involving children, will money truly get you out of anything? The past proved it would, but with a new set of allegations, it truly makes you ask if justice is truly just for victims and perpetrators. Many individuals aren’t even allowed to post bail for simply looking at photos, but a repeat offender can possibly be released to travel internationally. However, as of last Friday, according to the BOP website, Epstein was being held at MCC Brooklyn awaiting a bond hearing.