Moralist Ken Starr Explains His Help For Rich Pervert Jeffrey Epstein

 

Famed educator and legal scholar Ken Starr led a forum last week at the National Press Club to inspire faith-based instruction — and then was asked to describe why he had helped billionaire Jeffrey Epstein avoid Ken Starr Baylor Universityserious prison time in 2008 on allegations Epstein had molested dozens of underage girls.

The president and chancellor of Baylor University, responding to a question after the close of a forum he led Feb. 4 on “The Calling of Faith-based Universities,” told me he was “very happy” to help serve a client of his former law firm, Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis. Starr, a former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general, is shown at left.

Thus, as so often the case in public life in the nation’s capital, a stark contrast arose between high-minded rhetoric and subservience to the wealthy.  

Today’s column summarizes the perverted practices of the globe-trotting Epstein, 62, shown in a photo at right. We next examine Epstein’s powerful friends, allies, and lawyers on a legal dream team that included Alan Dershowitz, Roy Black, Jay Lefkowitz, Gerald Lefcourt, and Martin Weinberg.

Following that, we report how the attorneys arranged a sweetheart plea deal for Epstein in 2008. Starr played a key role in arranging lenient treatment for Epstein, whose federal-state prosecution Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University a decade ago occurred concurrently under the administrations of President George W. Bush and his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush (1999-2007) and Jeb Bush's successor Charlie Crist (2007-2011), who had been state attorney general during the beginning of the Epstein case.

Updates:

Earlier, the Daily Mail of London reported new developments Jan. 2 in Andrew and the under-age 'sex slave': Duke denies claim in court papers that teen was picked to sleep with him by Robert Maxwell's daughter. According to recent court filings in Florida's federal court:

A plaintiff "Jane Doe 3," later identified as a California native Virginia Roberts, accused Epstein as treating her as a "sex slave" beginning when she was 15 as part of a massive sex trafficking operation he ran exploiting girls in their mid-teens, below the legal age of consent.

Roberts, now 31, claimed that Epstein farmed her out to other men, including Prince Andrew of the British royal family, Epstein's attorney Dershowitz, and French modeling scout Jean Luc Brunel.

The California native said the photo below left portrays her at center with Prince Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, on a trip to London when she was 17 in 2001. At right was Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite daughter of the corrupt newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, who drowned in 1991 after toppling overboard from his yacht Lady Ghislaine. The death left one of the world's largest media empires with a reported $3 billion in debts.

Roberts alleged that the Ghislaine Maxwell was girlfriend of the never-married Epstein's who helped him both maintain contacts to top levels of society, recruited teenage sex consorts, and sometimes participated in the sex abuse, including of Roberts. The Roberts claims are part of her effort along with a Jane Doe 4 to join a suit filed six years ago by Jane Doe 1 and 2 against the federal government for violation of civil rights in agreeing to an overly lenient state plea deal for Epstein in 2008.

The federal-state agreement enabled Epstein to spend just eight hours a day in a county jail and for authorities to agree not to prosecute anyone else. South Florida lawyer and Ring of Fire radio host Mike Papantonio commented last week that the no-prosecution deal "is unheard of....That never happens."

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001Maxwell, Epstein, Andrew, and Dershowitz are among those who have denied the major allegations by Roberts, as have federal authorities. Epstein, in his first formal remarks on the revived scandal, last month condemned the “media frenzy” surrounding the case. He wrote that he and his associates “have been the subject of the most outlandish and offensive attacks, allegations, and plain inventions.”

The prince issued a strongly-worded denial via Buckingham Palace, saying "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue."

As a big picture, Epstein's money-making talents were exceptional.

A list of Epstein's contacts compiled by a Florida house manager listed access information for the Queen of England, the current King of Saudi Arabia, former President Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, rock stars at the Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson level, fashion gurus, media moguls, and financiers at the Rothschild and Rockefeller level, among dozens of others wealthy, powerful contacts.

Their precise relationships with Epstein remain unclear in many instances, which is a natural consequence of the slap-on-the-wrist plea deal for him that short-circuited disclosure in the courts.

A week ago, the Daily Beast focused heavily on Starr's role in a column entitled, Conservative Scold Ken Starr Got A Billionaire Pedophile Off. Reporter M.S. Nestel described how Epstein faced life sentences if authorities pursued their heavy documentation that he had assaulted and exploited high school girls on a systematic basis. Instead, the billionaire was sentenced for a single state charge of soliciting a prostitution.

Epstein went to jail nights for 13 months in a special wing of a local jail, maintained his freedom during the day, and emerged in 2011 to scoff at his critics, as reported by the New York Post in Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I’m a sex offender, not a predator. The newspaper reported that imperious ex-con used his $50 million New York City mansion to celebrate his release from a Florida jail "with his close pal, Britain’s Prince Andrew."

Starr is, of course, the former federal judge and the independent prosecutor whom fellow judge David Sentelle, a Federalist Society activist supervising the nation's independent counsels for 14 years, had appointed to replace a prior investigator of President Bill Clinton's Whitewater financial transactions.

Failing to find actionable evidence on his mandate of investigating Whitewater, Starr aggressively expanded his $70 million probe to pursue sex scandal allegations after he received a tip about about consensual sexual activity by youthful Defense Department employee, Monica Lewinsky, shown at right in an April 1997 photo.

Monica Lewinsky May 1997 (Wikipedia)Under Starr in January 1998, federal authorities ambushed Lewinsky while she was shopping at a food court in January 1998. She described in a 2014 Washington Post article, Lewinsky mistreated by authorities, her tears and panic while authorities held her during a 12-hour interrogation without a lawyer in a hotel room.

Agreeing finally to wear a wire to incriminate the president, Lewinsky helped Starr secure evidence that the president engaged in oral sex, leading to Clinton's false denials of the acts. The House then impeached Clinton before he saved his presidency by narrowly winning acquittal in the Senate.

The Epstein case is worth studying in part because of the high stakes for sex scandals and blackmail at such levels. The Epstein scandal illustrates, yet again, a two-tiered American justice system where wealth and political influence can often win lenient treatment even in heinous, well-documented cases.

Furthermore, as we explore in a second part of our ongoing coverage this week, suppressed but videotaped sex scandals at this level of society and governance poses a serious threat of blackmail and other corrupt influence-peddling on major government and business decision-making.

As a preview: The Guardian on Feb. 7 published Video exists of underage sex with powerful men, based on a new affidavit Roberts filed the previous day. Her claim that the FBI likely possesses video alleges the goal of blackmail.

The plaintiff filings also claimed, "Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 that she was to give the prince whatever he demanded and required Jane Doe #3 to report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse."

Roberts claimed that Epstein’s "‘lending’ of young girls to prominent international figures – foreign presidents and U.S. politicians and businessmen among them – was to ‘ingratiate’ himself and ‘so that he could potentially blackmail them."

Roberts wrote also: “There were times when I was physically abused to the point that I remember fearfully thinking that I didn’t know whether I was going to survive,” Roberts said in a new court filing last week.

We have examined such matters for years at the Justice Integrity Project and in my recent book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters. Too often, in our view, the bottom line in a court case is not merely the law but hidden politics.

In sum, the Epstein saga raises serious question about favoritism if not corruption in the courts even if plaintiffs' allegations are overblown. The immunity agreement for alleged co-conspirators is so irregular that it reeks of a cover-up.

For busy readers, that is this column's gist. Others should read on if interested in more detail.

This material includes amplification of Starr's explanation of his work for Epstein and Starr's advocacy, delivered last week along with the presidents of Yeshiva and Catholic Universities, for faith-based instruction to help guide students in navigating through difficult ethical issues they will face in their lives.

 

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Justice Scales For Jet-Setter Jeffrey Epstein

The Brooklyn-born Epstein started his career as a seventh-grade school teacher at the Dalton School, a private school on Manhattan's East Side, then became a trader with Bear Stearns in the mid-1970s.

Scales of JusticeEpstein he built up assets of at least a billion dollars by astute investments, often in private trading with minimal disclosure requirements.

His homes included those in Manhattan, Florida's Palm Beach, London, Paris, a ranch in New Mexico, and a private island called Little Saint James near St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has reportedly donated more than $200 million to individual scientists since 2000, including Stephen Hawking, Marvin Minsky, Eric Lander and many others. His foundation has convened many of these scientists in conferences to discuss such topics as gravity, threats to the earth, language, and cure for cancer.

We now focus on a darker side. A dozen years ago, the mother of a Florida high school student complained to authorities that her 14-year-old daughter had been paid $200 at Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach.

This prompted an investigation that collected witness statements claiming that the never-married Epstein and his female cronies systematically recruited high school and other young girls to engage in sexual activities for money.

Much of it allegedly involved massages by girls stripped-down to their underwear of a naked or near-naked Epstein, who purportedly masturbated during the sessions and at times engaged or attempted to engage in other sexual activities. Walls of his mansion were reportedly profusely decorated with photos of naked or near naked girls from previous visits.

The definition of those underage for purposes of consent varies by state but is usually age 14 to 18.

Meanwhile, Epstein had pursued a jet-set lifestyle, sometimes accompanied by young females and famous political, business and other companions. The roster included Prince Andrew, 54, who is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Prince Andrew was second in line for the throne at one point.

Epstein's friends and contacts included large numbers of other wealthy and powerful men and girls, according to an address book kept by Epstein's Florida housekeeper Alfredo Rodriguez.

The Daily Mail reported last month that Rodriguez, who died Dec. 28 at age 60, kept a detailed 'black book' of dozens of young women that Epstein abused. "The houseman was sentenced to 18 months jail — the same term as his boss — in 2011 for failing to hand the journal to prosecutors. Instead he tried to sell it to defense lawyers for $50,000." Rodriguez circled the names in the book he claimed were involved in sexual activities and we have reviewed that list, although it is of course unsworn and otherwise unauthenticated evidence.

The Smoking Gun reported that Epstein's contacts, not necessarily sexual, included names like Bronfman, Rothschild, Stern, Bloomberg, Koch, Wexner, Zuckerman, Kravis, Rockefeller, Trump, plus celebrities, journalists, and socialites. "Some of the individuals listed appear to primarily be friends of Epstein’s ex-girlfriend/longtime sidekick Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of wrangling underage massage talent for the shadowy investor."

Jeffrey Epstein and Alan DershowitzEpstein's contacts, further illustrated by flight logs from his airplanes, contain names involved in the glamorous fashion, modeling, rock music, and race car worlds that would be especially alluring to young girls being recruited for Epstein's sex trafficking operations. Despite pointed inquiries from the student Harvard Crimson newspaper, the university said after the scandal broke that it would keep a $6.5 million donation from Epstein because it funded important work. Epstein is shown relaxing with his counsel, Dershowitz.
 
The scope of the allegations and names of Epstein’s companies were kept low-key during the prosecution. The defendant accepted a plea deal with an 18-month part-time sentence on two counts, and emerged to freedom after 13 months, albeit with the label of sex offender.

Importantly in the view of critics, his conviction was a triumph of defense lawyering. The charge of soliciting a prostitute did not carry the stigma and penalties of systematic sexual abuse of girls not old enough to provide informed consent under the law. The age of legal consent varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in the United States, but most states set the age between 14 and 18. Those adults found guilty of sexual activities with mid-teen minors are liable to such charges as child sexual abuse, statutory rape, illegal carnal knowledge, and corruption of a minor.

With the new allegations, newspaper headline writers have recently been describing Epstein as a "pedophile" based on his conviction and the scope of his activities. Roberts has described them as including filmed orgies and reflecting his interest in three girls as young as 12 sent as a so-called "gift" from Eastern Europe.

Many professionals, however, restrict the term pedophile to those focused primarily on child sex victims aged 13 or younger. Most of the evidence against Epstein suggests his focus was on those in the mid-teens. Furthermore, Epstein's allies have denounced Roberts as a liar and "fantacist," as reported the Guardian column Feb. 7, among other places. For such reasons, the description "pervert," not "pedophile," suffices here for now.

Update:  A reader provides a legal filing containing allegations of sufficient seriousness so that, upon reflection, Epstein can be fairly described as a "pedophile."

A 39-page exhibit by a Palm Beach attorney, Bradley Edwards, cites evidence that Epstein molested one girl more than 50 times beginning at age 13 and that she was paid $200 apiece for recruiting more than 70 other underage girls to submit to similar treatment. Edwards cited evidence of other young female recruiters who brought multiple victims into Epstein's mansion for similar fees. The evidence was for defense of a state court suit, Epstein v. Rothstein and Edwards, that the billionaire brought against two lawyers trying to make money by representing underage victims. Epstein dropped the suit in 2012 after defendant Scott Rothstein was charged with a major Ponzi scheme described below.  

The lenient plea deal for Epstein without thorough follow-up infuriated one or more grunt-level investigators. At what must have been great risk for reprisal, one of them helped make sure the evidence became public on the Internet and elsewhere, usually with the victim names deleted to protect privacy.

The prosecution plea deal let authorities provide Epstein a modest sentence and barred prosecution (and thus even investigation) of any of Epstein's many world-famous guests, traveling companions, sex trafficking junior accomplices, and other cronies.

The Plea Deal Reexamined

Columnist Wayne Madsen has combined the tabloid elements of the Epstein case with investigative dimensions based on his 14 years experience as a Navy Intelligence officer and recent inspection of the federal court file in West Palm Beach.

Wayne MadsenIn four columns last month, Madsen reported that Epstein's lawyers have fought a fierce but so far unsuccessful effort to seal documents.

Madsen has often reported that prominent members of politics and the media have secret intelligence ties. Madsen has, for example, reiterated Seymour Hersh's 1991 scoop that the press lord Maxwell had been a longtime asset for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad before his death.

Madsen is among those who have also reported that the world's largest insurance company, the American International Group (AIG), became after its founding by Ken Starr's uncle, the late Cornelius V. Starr (1892-1968), a vital component of CIA operations in high-level intrigues spanning the globe.

Cornelius Starr's successor beginning 1960 was his chauffeur's son Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, who would become both a multi-billionaire and a serious candidate in 1996 to become CIA director after authoring "Making Intelligence Smarter: The Future of U.S. Intelligence," a major strategic memo published by the Council on Foreign Relations.

During the financial crisis of 2008-09, AIG received from the holdover Bush and incoming Obama officials approval for $182 billion in federal bailouts from taxpayers under suspicious circumstances -- and then awarded its senior executives more than a billion dollars in bonuses.

Several years earlier, New York Attorney Gen. Eliot Spitzer, right, had infuriated AIG and other Wall Street executives by his aggressive investigations of AIG along with other Wall Street defendants whom Spitzer accused of securities fraud and similar white collar offenses. With complex operations in more than 100 nations, AIG had been reporting for years false profits on a massive scale.

Eliot SpitzerBut Spitzer's bank reported to the U.S. Treasury Department financial transactions involving Spitzer, a Democrat who was by then New York's governor potentially poised for a bright future as a corruption-fighter. Agents traced the governor's spending to the Emperors Club, which turned out to be an escort service providing expensive call girls. The New York Times obtained leaked information from authorities. The newspaper reported on March 10, 2008 that Spitzer had used prostitutes on multiple occasions, including one repeatedly profiled.

In disgrace, Spitzer resigned as governor the same week, thereby illustrating to court watchers the dangers a corrupt life-style -- especially when combined with investigating powerful entities. Clearly, even an investigator's supposedly confidential personal banking information could find its way to the front page.

Wayne Madsen's Jan. 23 column, Epstein plea deal with feds protected Bill Clinton and the House of Bush, reported how Madsen had obtained the "heretofore sealed Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) struck between lawyers for billionaire Florida registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and George W. Bush-era federal prosecutors." The excerpt is cited with permission from his subscription-based site, The Wayne Madsen Report:

Epstein received the NPA after he was charged with soliciting sex from an alleged "prostitute." However, the so-called "prostitute" was actually a 14-year old girl who was recruited by a network of Epstein's employees who basically served as child sex traffickers and pimps. Lawyers for Epstein attempted to block federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Kenneth Marra from unsealing the NPA as per the wishes of attorneys for four child sex trafficking victims known as Jane Does 1 through 4. However, Marra decided to unseal the NPA on January 21 and WMR was present at the Paul G. Roberts Federal Building to obtain a copy of the NPA.

The NPA was agreed to on October 30, 2007 by U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta. Although Acosta later criticized the plea deal in an open letter, he did not respond to WMR's request for an interview on the current case in which four of Epstein's victims are suing the U.S. government claiming that the NPA violated their rights under the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA). The victims, who are now adults, claim that the federal government's NPA with Epstein violated the 2004 CVRA.

The government argues that because Epstein was never charged with a federal crime, the victims have no rights under the CVRA. In their request to Marra to unseal the NPA, the attorneys for the Jane Does, said that the federal government and Epstein colluded "to avoid a firestorm of public controversy that would have erupted if the sweetheart plea deal with a politically-connected billionaire had been revealed."

The NPA was signed on behalf of Acosta by A. Marie Villafana, the then-Assistant U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida, who is now the U.S. Attorney under Attorney General Eric Holder. The plea deal with Epstein was concluded after the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami and the FBI investigated Epstein separately from the investigation conducted by the Palm Beach County Police Department and the Florida Attorney General's Office. The deal cut between Acosta and Villafana and the state of Florida, which was then under the governorship of then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist and Republican Attorney-General Bill McCollum stated that the federal government would defer to Florida the prosecution of Epstein. Acosta has gone on to become the dean of the law school of Florida International University in Miami.

The NPA also stipulated that a list of individuals who the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami and the FBI has identified as victims of Epstein's sexual abuse and trafficking would be provided to Epstein's attorneys, who included Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Jane Doe 3, identified as Virginia Roberts, has claimed that Dershowitz has sex with her while she was a minor. Dershowitz has vigorously denied the allegations and he has cited a "conspiracy" against him by anti-Semites who are getting even for his longtime support for Israel. Unsubstantiated conspiracy theories by Dershowitz aside, the fact remains that the NPA immunized all of Epstein's co-conspirators -- who allegedly include Dershowitz -- former President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew of Britain from future federal prosecution.

The NPA states: ". . . the United States also agrees that it will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including but not limited to [alleged Epstein accomplices] Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Goff, or Nadia Marcinkova." The NPA also suspended the federal grand jury investigation against Epstein and held in abeyance all federal grand jury subpoenas in the case against Epstein. These subpoenas presumably included those directed to witnesses in the case, individuals that likely include Dershowitz, Clinton, and Andrew.

Recent News

Virginia Roberts 2015 photoEpstein finished his part-time jail sentence in 2011. Vanity Fair, New York Magazine and the New York Post were among the occasional adverse profiles he endured. The Post reported in Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I’m a sex offender, not a predator that Epstein was still scoffing at his critics.

As it turns out, Epstein had cause for complaint. Scott Rothstein, a Palm Beach lawyer, developed a Ponzi scheme by which he boasted of huge settlements, including in Epstein case spin-offs, and then invite "investors" to share in the proceeds. Rothstein was sentenced to a 50-year prison term in a scam that bilked investors of $1.2 billion, as prosecutors described in this Palm Beach Post article in 2012: Billionaire sex offender drops suit against Scott Rothstein and one of his partners.

The filing by Virginia Roberts last year to join the ongoing "Jane Doe" case revived interest by making specific claims about debauchery by high-level figures.

Shown in a recent photo at right, Roberts, 31, said she was a runaway at age 11, and a "sex slave" for Epstein beginning at 15. At age 19, she said she received indications she was getting too old for him, and married an Australian. As reported in the Guardian story Feb. 7:

Dismissed as a liar and a fantasist by Epstein allies, Roberts filed with her affidavit on Friday previously undisclosed receipts for a flight from New York to Thailand in September 2002 and a stay costing several thousand dollars at the Royal Princess hotel in Chiang Mai. All the bills appeared to have been paid for by “J Epstein.”

Roberts, who says she was recruited for Epstein at 15, has previously alleged that she was sent on the Thailand trip by Epstein to learn Thai massage and interview a Thai girl “to bring back to the United States” for him. Instead, she says, she met a man whom she married and fled with him to Australia for more than a decade.

Government prosecutors say that Roberts was properly notified about the plea deal at the time it was struck and has waited too long to join the lawsuit. Roberts argues that she did not fully understand the letter sent to her by prosecutors and was too scared of repercussions from Epstein’s powerful friends to come out of hiding.

Prince Andrew is shown in a 2011 photo with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, a former CIA director, at a function at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The prince holds the title of Duke of York. Born on Feb. 19, 1960, he Prince Andrew and Leon Panetta 2011, National Building Museum wikipediais the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, the prince was second in the line of succession to succeed his mother. He is currently fifth in line.
 
The Smoking Gun (TSG), for example, reported this week in Inside Wealthy Pervert's Massage "Black Book," Senator's galpal listed in Jeffrey Epstein's rub roster Epstein’s “black book,” an exhibit to a court filing in a civil suit brought against Epstein by two of his minor victims, consisted of 181 pages that contain contact information for billionaires (Bronfman, Stern, Bloomberg, Koch, Wexner, Zuckerman, Kravis, Rockefeller), multimillionaires (Trump), celebrities, journalists, and socialites. 

The Roberts claims alleging sexual exploitation by author, attorney and longtime Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, now a resident of Miami Beach, have been particularly prominent because he was a member of the Epstein legal team who helped choose Ken Starr. She claimed to have had sex with him six times.

Dershowitz denied assaulting Roberts or ever meeting her.

Miami television station WPLG and its reporter Bob Norman broadcast a two-minute interview on the topic Jan. 22: Alan Dershowitz: 'Sex slave' accuser is serial liar, 'still a prostitute.' The station provided a transcript. 

"This is a woman who is a serial liar," Dershowitz said. "She's lied, lied, lied, lied."

The law professor called her a "prostitute." When the reporter asked whether she could have given informed consent to sex at such young age, Dershowitz said that's a question for authorities, not him. 

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Ken Starr's Full Response

We now revisit the Ken Starr-led forum Feb. 4 at the National Press Club, which was part of a series of Washington programs organized by Baylor, which is based in Waco, TX.

Baylor, founded in 1845, defines itself as a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution."

Starr moderated a discussion with two other university presidents, John Garvey of Catholic University of America and Richard Joel of Yeshiva University. Baylor bought a promotional ad in the Sunday Washington Post for Feb. 1.

Samuel Smith of the Christian Post summarized the discussion as follows under the headline, Purpose of college is not to get a job, is to instill ethical responsibilities: university presidents, summarized the main discussion:

Although all the presidents agreed that that it is imperative for colleges to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in a career, what is equally as important and often overlooked by state and secular schools in today's secular environment, is making sure that students are prepared to make tough moral and ethical choices when they are faced with many of life's tough dilemmas....Joel explained that Yeshiva University strives on the motto that "education is meant to Ennoble and Enable."

Garvey agreed with Joel's notion that education's role is to "ennoble and enable" and put it into his own context of providing "wisdom and virtue." Starr said that at Baylor University there is a Christian calling to ensure that the students understand the concept of maintaining a "caring community" and living to serve the needs of others. 

"The creation of a very purposeful community, what we call the caring community, is vibrant and evident. It makes for a joyful place that sets us apart in terms of degrees of happiness," Starr told reporters after the event. "We talk about 'live life greatly.' That means in our Christian tradition, 'don't live for yourself.'"

All three university presidents held J.D. degrees and have been law school professors. So, part of their remarks focused on the role of law in inspiring students and otherwise shaping a moral society. During Q&A, Starr read from audience questions submitted on cards. Each of the questions chosen dealt generally with the previous discussion.

None mentioned what I regarded as an elephant in the room: namely questions of morality faced by clerical leaders contending against human failings as old as human history.

Most notable in my mind was the Epstein case. But resonating also in the Washington area especially has been the arrest of a prominent rabbi, law professor and educator accused of secretly videotaping young female members of his congregation and at least one of his students at a local university while they took ritual baths at his suggestion. The New York Times reported the story as, Prominent Rabbi Arrested on a Charge of Voyeurism.

At the end of the last week's event, I discovered an old friend was among the attendees and together we decided to approach the forum moderator, Starr. My friend's father had been a White House correspondent in the 1960s. He has long been concerned (like the forum speakers) with the harm that lax moral standards cause society. As part of that, he is sensitive to gross injustice.

As Starr gathered up his lecture notes and prepared to leave, I took the lead in thanking the speaker for an enlightening discussion. He smiled in friendly fashion. What follows are my notes reconstructing the conversation immediately afterward.

"But since it is the Press Club," I continued, "I hope you don't mind if I ask a question."

"Fire away!" he responded cheerfully. The Duke Law School graduate, a former law clerk to the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger from 1975 to 1977, has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 25 during his service as solicitor general from 1989 to 1993. So, he has every reason to be confident in handling any question.

"In view of the topic of tonight's discussion," I said, "isn't it incongruous that you chose to represent Jeffrey Epstein?"

"I don't think I want to answer that. This involves the attorney-client privilege."

"I appreciate that because I'm a lawyer also. But I'm not asking for any privileged secrets. And I understand that everyone's entitled to a lawyer. But why you?"

He paused a moment, and responded with slightly more formality, "I was very happy to respond to the needs of a client of the firm."

We thanked him for his time and moved on. In a post-mortem outside, my friend told me, "Well, you got your answer. It's about the money, isn't it?"

 
Next Steps

This column could have ended right there.

But the situation points to a more important story that his actions, which we shall address soon in a Part II of this column.

Influential though the Baylor president has been, Ken Starr is a symptom of a much larger problem. The standard human frailties -- summarized in the Ten Commandments, among other places -- persist and often seem to prevail in the nation's capital, as in so many other places.
 
As the Epstein case shows, society at its highest levels is rife with leaders skilled in rhetoric and other image-making. But many have achieved “success” in significant part by repulsive actions or at least tolerance of such practices among their colleagues.

A true test is whether each individual -- and those coming up through universities, the Palm Beach police department's grunt-level investigators, and elsewhere – fulfills ethical duties.
 
In that sense, the rhetoric of Starr and the two other faith-based university presidents last week serves an important purpose. So does, I hope, this column providing what the late newsman Paul Harvey used to call, "The rest of the story."

 

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Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book: A Sampler

Daily Mail, Houseman who cleaned pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's sex toys and feared he would make him 'disappear' takes billionaire's secrets to the grave after he died just last week, Martin Gould, Jan. 5, 2015. Alfredo Rodriguez, Epstein's houseman for many years, passed away last week, his widow Patricia Dunn told DailyMail.com. Court papers reveal that Rodriguez claimed he witnessed nude girls whom he believed were underage at the pool area of the home. He also claimed that Epstein viewed pornographic images of underage girls on his home computers. Rodriguez kept a 'black book' of Epstein's -- which he referred to as 'The Holy Graiil.' He tried to obtain $50,000 from lawyers for Epstein's book. Ex-butler called it an 'insurance policy' because he was afraid Epstein would 'make him disappear.' The houseman went to jail in 2011 for failing to turn over the book. Alfredo Rodriguez, who was Epstein's houseman for many years, passed away last week after a six-month battle with cancer, his widow Patricia Dunn told DailyMail.com. He carried many secrets of Epstein's scandalous activities to his grave.

Black Book Names

Editor's Note: Here are some of the better known names listed in a list of Jeffrey Epstein contacts maintained by his late, longtime Florida housekeeper Alfredo Rodriguez and now entered into the federal court docket in Miami.  We put top royalty and financial royalty in the first section and list others in alphabetical order. Rodriguez reputedly circled those names he believed involved in improper sexual activities in Florida. Of those on the top  part of the list, only Prince Andrew was circled. David Rockefeller -- the last surviving grandchild of the nation's richest person (inflation-adjusted), John D. Rockefeller -- is scheduled to celebrate his 100th birthday this year.

Queen Elizabeth

Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Saudi Arabia's Prince Salman (recently named king)

Edward de Rothschild

Evelyn de Rothschild

David Rockefeller

*****

Ehud Barak

David Blaine

Tony Blair

Michael Bloomberg

Edgar Bronfman

Jean Luc Brunel

Jimmy Buffet

Richard Branson

Bill Clinton

Philip Dunne

Ralph Fiennes

Princess Firyal, wife Prince Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan

Rocco Forte

Alan Dershowitz

Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore (Formula One)

Sarah Ferguson

Steve Forbes (Forbes magazine)

Katie Ford (former Ford modeling agency CEO).

David Frost

Mariella Frostrup

Lloyd Grossman

Liz Hurley

Michael Jackson

Mick Jagger

Edward Kennedy

Ethel Kennedy

John Kerry

Henry Kissinger

Edward Koch

Courtney Love

Lord Peter Mandelson

Eric Margolis

John Micklethwait (Economist editor in chief)

George Mitchell

Rupert Murdoch

David Putnam

Bill Richardson

Gerald Ronson

Charlie Rose

Jessica Rothschild

Hannah Rothschild

Jeffrey Sachs

Edmund Saffra

James Sainsbury

Rupert Soames

Peter Soros

Harry Sutherland

Hugo Swire

Alfred Taubman

Donald Trump

Ivana Trump

Barbara Walters

Les Wexner

Elie Wiesel

Shaun Woodward

Toby Young

 

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2019

May 11

Miami Herald, Prosecutors finally want to hear from Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, Julie K. Brown, May 11, 2019 (print ed.). More than a decade after federal prosecutors gave a secret miami herald logoplea deal to a suspected child sex trafficker, the government finally wants to hear from his victims, indicating on Friday that prosecutors wish to interview an unspecified number of Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University women who were molested by Jeffrey Epstein when they were teenagers.

U.S. Attorney Byung “B.J.” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia is asking a federal judge for a 60-day period to consult with Epstein’s victims, followed by a lengthy briefing schedule that is likely to delay the civil case for months, and possibly more than a year, according to a court motion.

If Pak is successful in obtaining a delay, lawyers for the victims have proposed to use that time deposing critical stakeholders in the case, including former Miami federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who helped negotiate Epstein’s controversial non-prosecution agreement in 2008.

perversion of justice miami herald logoWhile the victims’ lawyers do not oppose giving Epstein’s victims a voice, they say Pak’s proposal is so open-ended and vague that it essentially obscures the fact that the government continues to propose solutions that will benefit Epstein, not his victims.

“There is no basis for continuing to delay the rights that federal law affords to Jane Doe No. 1 and and Jane Doe No. 2 because the government now wants to talk to two other victims, or 10 other victims or 80 other victims,’’ said Jack Scarola, who represents Jane Does 1 and 2 and who brought the court challenge. “Every victim’s right exists independent of the interests of other victims. And there’s no way 80 young women are going to agree on what they want under the existing circumstances.’’

Scarola said the government first needs to void Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement, which a federal judge in February ruled was illegal.

Epstein, a 66-year-old multimillionaire hedge fund manager, sexually assaulted countless underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion in the 2000s. Instead of being federally prosecuted on sex trafficking charges and sent to prison, Epstein was allowed to quietly plead guilty in state court to minor prostitution charges. He served 13 months in the Palm Beach County jail and was given liberal work release that allowed him to come and go from the jail almost daily. He was freed in 2009.

While he lists his permanent residence as his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he still spends a great deal of time at his mansions in New York and Palm Beach, and recently purchased another larger island that he is developing in the Caribbean.

In February, after more than a decade of litigation, a federal judge ruled that the government, led by Acosta (shown below), violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by giving Epstein and an unspecified number of unidentified co-conspirators immunity without informing his victims about the deal.

alexander acosta o cropped Custom

April 16

New Accuser Of Epstein, Dershowitz

miami herald logoMiami Herald, New Jeffrey Epstein accuser goes public; defamation lawsuit targets Dershowitz, Julie K. Brown, April 16, 2019. A new victim has gone public in the Jeffrey Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Epstein case, filing a sworn affidavit in federal court in New York Tuesday, saying that she was sexually assaulted and her then-15-year-old sister molested by Epstein and his companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, in 1996.

Maria Farmer, then 26, claims she was employed by Epstein (right), a multimillionaire financier who lived in a vast mansion on New York’s Upper East Side, and that she frequently saw “school-age girls’’ wearing uniforms come into the mansion and go upstairs. She was told that the girls were auditioning for modeling work, according to her affidavit.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThen an art student in New York, Farmer said she reported her assault to New York police and the FBI in 1996. FBI documents released April 1 make a reference to Farmer having been interviewed in 2006 or 2007. However, Farmer, now 49, said the FBI did not take any action against Epstein and Maxwell.

“To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI. It took a significant amount of bravery for me to make that call because I knew how incredibly powerful and influential both Epstein and Maxwell were, particularly in the art community,’’ she wrote.

Farmer’s affidavit is one of 15 exhibits attached to a defamation complaint filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, against Alan Dershowitz, one of Epstein’s most vocal and powerful attorneys.

Giuffre claims in the lawsuit, as she has in past court filings, that Dershowitz, 80, knew about and participated in a sex-trafficking operation involving underage girls and run by Epstein and Maxwell, and that she was forced to have sex with Dershowitz and other prominent, wealthy men when she was underage.

Dershowitz has railed against the allegations for years, maintaining that he has never met Giuffre. He also says he has documents and other evidence that prove she is lying.

April 3

alexander acosta o cropped Custom

washington post logoWashington Post, Acosta confronted by lawmakers over plea deal in Jeffrey Epstein sexual misconduct case, Kimberly Kindy, Felicia Sonmez and Lisa Rein, April 3, 2019. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was confronted by Democratic lawmakers Wednesday over his decision as a federal prosecutor to sign off on a plea deal in a sex trafficking case involving multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

The exchange at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing marked the first time Acosta has been questioned publicly about the case since a judge ruled in February that the 2008 arrangement he oversaw as a U.S. attorney in South Florida had broken the law because his office failed to properly notify victims.

“You chose wealthy and well-connected people, child rapists, over the victims in this case,” said Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.), who noted that “the hideous truth has come out” about Acosta’s role in the case.

Clark cited the Epstein case as she questioned Acosta on his department’s decision to propose cutting the budget for one of its divisions tasked with combating human trafficking from $68 million to $18.5 million.

“This isn’t the first time you have ignored human trafficking,” Clark said. “If you as U.S. attorney could not fight for these girls, how, as secretary of labor, can you tell this panel and the American people that you can responsibly oversee this budget [and] the Department of Labor, including human trafficking?”

Acosta responded that human trafficking is “an in­cred­ibly important issue” and said the Justice Department had long defended the plea deal.

“Epstein was incarcerated,” Acosta said. “He registered as a sex offender. The world was put on notice that he was a sex offender, and the victims received restitution.”

jeffrey epstein sex offenderThe 2008 plea deal stemmed from a federal investigation of Epstein (right) focused on alleged sex trafficking and molestation of dozens of underage girls. Before the deal, prosecutors drafted a 53-page federal indictment that included sex trafficking charges, which could have placed Epstein in prison for life.

Epstein’s plea agreement allowed him to instead plead guilty to two state felony solicitation charges, casting the victims as prostitutes. The deal led to a 13-month stay in county jail during which Epstein was allowed to leave custody six days a week, 12 hours a day, for work.

Acosta, 50, has received support from his boss, President Trump, who in February called him a “fantastic labor secretary.” On Wednesday, Acosta argued that Epstein would have faced even lighter punishment had the plea deal not been struck.

“I understand the frustration,” he said. “I think it’s important for people to know he was going to get off with no jail time or restitution. It was the work of our office that resulted in him going to jail. It was the work of our office that resulted in him having to register as a sex offender.”

kenneth marra open jurist croppedThe deal has received renewed media and legal scrutiny in recent months. In February, Judge Kenneth A. Marra (left) of the Federal District Court in West Palm Beach ruled that the failure by Acosta’s office to notify victims in advance of the deal prevented the victims from being able to exercise their legal right to object before the deal took effect. Marra has set a deadline of May 10 for attorneys for two victims, who filed the lawsuit that led to the ruling, and attorneys for Epstein to propose an alternative deal.

The ruling could ultimately nullify the plea deal.

The Justice Department in February opened an investigation into its handling of the Epstein case after a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), pressed for answers about the plea agreement.

In March, The Washington Post reported that, although Epstein’s alleged victims were as young as 14, the only minor he was convicted of soliciting was 16 when the offenses began. The decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen has eased his obligations to register as a sex offender. For example, Epstein does not have to register in New Mexico, where he owns a ranch, because his victim was not under 16.

2018

December

Dec. 4

The Conscious Resistance,

.be" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Researcher Wayne Madsen: Trump's Connection to Epstein Needs to Be Exposed, Derrick Broze, Dec 5, 2018 (7:24 mins.). On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Derrick Broze attended the civil trial relating to the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein. He spoke with journalist, researcher, investigator Wayne Madsen about the claims of Katie Johnson regarding Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Palm Beach Post, Settlement reached in Epstein case; Frankel urges probe of Acosta, Jane Musgrave, Dec. 4, 2018. Moments before jury selection was to begin in what promised to be a salacious trial plumbing the misdeeds of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, both sides announced a settlement had been reached, negating the need for the much-anticipated three-week trial.

While the terms of the monetary settlement were confidential, as part of the accord, Epstein apologized for filing a lawsuit against attorney Bradley Edwards. In the lawsuit, Epstein accused the Fort Lauderdale lawyer of trumping up allegations that he had sexually assaulted young women at his Palm Beach mansion.

Epstein paid $5.5 million to settle the claims against three of the young women Edwards represented and eventually dropped the suit against Edwards. But, Edwards turned the tables on Epstein, filing a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the 65-year-old wildly successful money manager. That was the lawsuit that was to be decided by a Palm Beach County Circuit Court jury.

In the apology that was read aloud in court, Epstein admitted he sued Edwards because the lawsuits the attorney filed on behalf of the young women were “troublesome for me.”

“The lawsuit I filed was my unreasonable attempt to damage his business reputation and cause Mr. Edwards to stop pursuing cases against me,” attorney Scott Link said on behalf of Epstein, who was not in the courtroom. “It did not work.”

Epstein, who spends most of his time on his private island in the Virgin Islands or at his New York penthouse apartment, said what he did was wrong.

“I am now admitting that I was wrong and that the things I said to try to harm Mr. Edwards reputation as a trial lawyer were false,” he said in the statement. “I sincerely apologize for the false and hurtful allegations I made and hope some forgiveness for my acknowledgement of wrongdoing.”

But Edwards and his attorney, Jack Scarola, said the saga that began in 2009 is far from over. Edwards said he will continue to pursue a lawsuit now pending in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, accusing federal prosecutors of violating the federal Crime Victims Rights Act by signing off on agreement that allowed Epstein to escape federal prosecution.

The so-called non-prosecution agreement allowed Epstein to plead guilty to two state charges — procuring a minor for prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. Epstein served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a vacant wing of the county stockade — a cell he was allowed to leave during the day so he could continue to work.

Federal judge Kenneth Marra has been considering claims by Edwards that prosecutors signed off on the sweetheart deal without first telling victims, as required by the federal act. Federal prosecutors, including former South Florida U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, who is now U.S. Labor secretary, claim they wanted to make sure Epstein would pay his victims and feared he would escape any punishment without the deal.

November

Nov. 29

The Hill, Miami Herald reporter hits back at Scaramucci over criticism of Epstein story, John Bowden, Nov. 29, 2018. Miami Herald rejected accusations from former White House Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University communications director Anthony Scaramucci that her newspaper “planted” a story linking Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, right.

Julie Brown, an investigative reporter for the Herald, fired back at Scaramucci on Thursday afternoon after the former Trump aide wrote that the Herald tried to “do a number” on Acosta because of his success in the Trump administration.

“1. I'm not in D.C. and have very few D.C. connections 2. 'Planted' ? Hmm. I don't even know what that means,” Brown wrote on Twitter.

“3. This was honest to god, shoe leather reporting & digging through dense court documents for a year,” she added. “No one contacted me to do this story. No one. It was totally my idea.”

Acosta did not respond to requests to comment from the Herald on the story, which detailed his work as a U.S. attorney to secure a lighter punishment for Epstein via a plea agreement despite evidence that the billionaire was involved in bringing underaged girls to the U.S. for prostitution.

Despite his conviction, Epstein was allowed under the agreement to leave jail during his 13-month sentence for 12-hour periods six days a week to commute to his private office for work. The agreement was kept secret from his accusers.

Nov. 28

#MeToo Scandals In Prosecution

JIP Editor's Note: The Miami Herald published a multi-part investigative project — "Perversion of Justice" — on Nov. 28 reporting how top officials gave a sweetheart deal to billionairre perversion of justice miami herald logomiami herald logopervert Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of future President Trump and past president Clinton, along with a promise not to investigate Epstein's friends and accomplices in a ring allegedly involving hundreds sex victims, many of them high school and junior high schoolers.

The Justice Integrity Project also has extensively covered this case, Jeffrey Epstein (shown below at right), and his enablers, who include prominent prosecutors and other lawyers, including President Trump's Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University But this Miami Herald series goes far beyond all previous news reports, which now number in the hundreds. The Herald credited reporter Julie K. Brown and visual producer Emily Michot with the series. The Herald obtained thousands of FBI and court records, lawsuits, and witness depositions, and went to federal court in New York to access sealed documents in the reporting of "Perversion of Justice." The Herald also tracked down more than 60 women who said they were victims, some of whom had never spoken of the abuse before.. 

Miami Herald, Perversion of Justice: A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break, Investigative project, Nov. 28, 2018.

  • Part One: How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
  • Part Two: Cops worked to put serial sex abuser in prison. Prosecutors worked to cut him a break
  • Part Three: Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark
  • Interactive: Sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein was surrounded by powerful people. Here’s a sampling
  • Timeline: For years, Jeffrey Epstein abused teen girls, police say. A timeline of his case
  • Overview: How Miami Herald journalists investigated Jeffrey Epstein

miami herald logoMiami Herald, Epstein's Connections: They were little girls. Their stories were almost identical. The evidence was substantial, Julie K. Brown and Aaron Albright, Nov. 28, 2018.

Jeffrey Epstein had a little black book filled with the names and personal phone numbers of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, from Bill Clinton and Donald Trump to actors, actresses, scientists and business tycoons. A money manager for the super-rich, Epstein had two private jets, the largest single residence in Manhattan, an island in the Caribbean, a ranch in New Mexico and a waterfront estate in Florida.

But Epstein also had an obsession.

For years, Epstein lured an endless stream of teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion, offering to pay them for massages. Instead, police say, for years he coerced middle and high school girls into engaging in sex acts with him and others.

As evidence emerged that there were victims and witnesses outside of Palm Beach, the FBI began an investigation in 2006 into whether Epstein and others employed by him were involved in underage sex trafficking.

But in 2007, despite substantial evidence that corroborated the girls’ stories of abuse by Epstein, the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, signed off on a secret deal for the multimillionaire, one that ensured he would never spend a day in prison.

Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, agreed to seal the agreement so that no one — not even Epstein’s victims — would know the full extent of his crimes or who was involved.

This is the story of that deal — and how his victims, more than a decade later, are still fighting a criminal justice system that has stubbornly failed to hold wealthy, powerful men accountable for sexual abuse.

miami herald logoMiami Herald, Cops worked to put serial sex abuser in prison. Prosecutors worked to cut him a break (Part 1), Julie K. Brown, Nov. 28, 2018. A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break.

Palm Beach, Florida / November 2004

Jane Doe No. 2

Michelle Licata climbed a narrow, winding staircase, past walls covered with photographs of naked girls. At the top of the stairwell was a vast master bed and bath, with cream-colored shag carpeting and a hot pink and mint green sofa.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe room was dimly lit and very cold.

There was a vanity, a massage table and a timer.

A silver-haired man wearing nothing but a white towel came into the room. He lay facedown on a massage table, and while talking on a phone, directed Licata to rub his back, legs and feet.

Michelle Licata says she was 16 when she first visited Jeffrey Epstein’s home on El Brillo Way to give him a massage. She says he tried to penetrate her with his fingers.

After he hung up, the man turned over and dropped his towel, exposing himself. He told Licata to get comfortable and then, in a firm voice, told her to take off her clothes.

At 16, Licata had never before been fully naked in front of anyone. Shaking and panicked, she mechanically pulled off her jeans and stripped down to her underwear. He set the timer for 30 minutes and then reached over and unsnapped her bra. He then began touching her with one hand and masturbating himself with the other.

“I kept looking at the timer because I didn’t want to have this mental image of what he was doing,’’ she remembered of the massage. “He kept trying to put his fingers inside me and told me to pinch his nipples. He was mostly saying ‘just do that, harder, harder and do this. …’ ”

After he ejaculated, he stood up and walked to the shower, dismissing her as if she had been in history class.

It wasn’t long before a lot of Licata’s fellow students at Royal Palm Beach High School had heard about “a creepy old guy” named Jeffrey who lived in a pink waterfront mansion and was paying girls $200 to $300 to give him massages that quickly turned sexual.

Eventually, the Palm Beach police, and then the FBI, came knocking on Licata’s door. In the police report, Licata was referred to as a Jane Doe 2 in order to protect her identity as a minor.

miami herald logoMiami Herald, A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break (Part 2), Julie K. Brown, Nov. 28, 2018.

Palm Beach County Courthouse / June 30, 2008

perversion of justice miami herald logoJeffrey Edward Epstein appeared at his sentencing dressed comfortably in a blue blazer, blue shirt, jeans and gray sneakers. His attorney, Jack Goldberger, was at his side.

At the end of the 68-minute hearing, the 55-year-old silver-haired financier — accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls — was fingerprinted and handcuffed, just like any other criminal sentenced in Florida.

But inmate No. W35755 would not be treated like other convicted sex offenders in the state of Florida, which has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation.

Ten years before the #MeToo movement raised awareness about the kid-glove handling of powerful men accused of sexual abuse, Epstein’s lenient sentence and his extraordinary treatment while in custody are still the source of consternation for the victims he was accused of molesting when they were minors.

Beginning as far back as 2001, Epstein lured a steady stream of underage girls to his Palm Beach mansion to engage in nude massages, masturbation, oral sex and intercourse, court and police records show. The girls — mostly from disadvantaged, troubled families — were recruited from middle and high schools around Palm Beach County. Epstein would pay the girls for massages and offer them further money to bring him new girls every time he was at his home in Palm Beach, according to police reports.

The girls, now in their late 20s and early 30s, allege in a series of federal civil lawsuits filed over the past decade that Epstein sexually abused hundreds of girls, not only in Palm Beach, but at his homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and in the Caribbean.

alex acosta swearing in mike pence c spanIn 2007, the FBI had prepared a 53-page federal indictment charging Epstein with sex crimes that could have put him in federal prison for life. But then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta (shown with his being sworn by Vice President Pence as Labor Secretary last year) signed off on a non-prosecution agreement, which was negotiated, signed and sealed so that no one would know the full scope of Epstein’s crimes. The indictment was shelved, never to be seen again.

Epstein instead pleaded guilty to lesser charges in state court, and was required to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 18 months incarceration.

But Epstein — who had a long list of powerful, politically connected friends — didn’t go to state prison like most sex offenders in Florida. Instead, the multimillionaire was assigned to a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade, where he was able to hire his own security detail. Even then, he didn’t spend much time in a cell. He was allowed to go to his downtown West Palm Beach office for work release, up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, records show.

miami herald logoMiami Herald, How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime, Julie K. Brown, Nov. 28, 2018. A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break.

perversion of justice miami herald logoOn a muggy October morning in 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz.

It was an unusual meeting for the then-38-year-old prosecutor, a rising Republican star who had served in several White House posts before being named U.S. attorney in Miami by President George W. Bush.

Instead of meeting at the prosecutor’s Miami headquarters, the two men — both with professional roots in the prestigious Washington law firm of Kirkland & Ellis — convened at the Marriott in West Palm Beach, about 70 miles away. For Lefkowitz, 44, a U.S. special envoy to North Korea and corporate lawyer, the meeting was critical.

 

miami herald logoMiami Herald,