Jeffrey Epstein Dead In Manhattan Jail Ahead of Sex Trafficking Trial; But the Legal Isn’t Over

Published on August 10, 2019

On Saturday, officials reported that Jeffrey Epstein, 66, a well-connected New York financier and convicted sex offender died by suicide in Manhattan Jail. Mr. Epstein’s body was found hanged in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center Saturday around 7:30 a.m., according to The New York Times.

Last month, Mr. Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell at the federal prison in Lower Manhattan with marks on his neck, that appeared to be self-inflicted, according to ABC News. Sources shared that he had been on suicide watch since the July 23 incident.

Jeffrey Epstein Faced Ten Years Worth of Allegations

Epstein’s death is extremely untimely and questionable, as he faced a number of legal issues as he was awaiting trial and facing the possibility of 45 years in federal prison. However, Mr. Epstein had sought home detention at his Upper East Side mansion while he awaited trial. His lawyers had proposed allowing Mr. Epstein to post a substantial bond and stay in his luxurious seven-story townhouse, watched by 24-hour security guards, at his expense.

For principle-sake, a federal judge denied the request, concluding that Mr. Epstein was a “flight-risk”, citing his “vast wealth,” which prosecutors have placed at over $1 billion.

These allegations happened over ten years with multiple women claiming to be abused by Epstein when they were underage. If Epstein and the case against him, which was pretty strong, believed he could beat this case before him, he clearly couldn’t.

An already convicted sex offender, Epstein was charged with sex trafficking in July, surrounding his tropical island, dubbed ‘Pedophile Island’ by many in the area.

Even In Death, Jeffrey Epstein Cannot Escape Injustice

Many victims were hoping to see him brought to justice, which now raises even more questions as to where this case is headed.

His extensive criminal resume dates back to his first indictment in 2007 after being accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. Upon his conviction, Epstein was required to register as a sex offender in 2008, and spent 13 months in a county jail after his lawyers negotiated a deal with former U.S. attorney and former Trump administration Labor Secretary, Alex Acosta. The deal was widely criticized, because while he was in custody, Epstein was allowed to leave the jail for 12 hours a day, six days a week, to work at his office in Florida.

However, Epstein’s release didn’t quiet the storm, as more allegations continued, with his recent arrest came after allegations surfaced that he was recruiting minors to his houses in Palm Beach and New York for sexual abuse.

Those wanting to see justice done, have questioned how Epstein was able to navigate around these charges for over ten years. He was no stranger to his wealthy collection of friends, including former U.S. president, Bill Clinton and current U.S. president, Donald Trump.

According to Vox’s Jane Coaston and Anna North, Epstein’s reputation as an immensely wealthy money manager may have helped him evade charges:

“When authorities began investigating Epstein, he assembled a team of private investigators to dig up dirt on the girls who accused him and the police and prosecutors working the case. Then he and his team of powerful lawyers, including Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, were able to convince prosecutors to go easy on him despite disturbing allegations by a growing number of women and girls.”

Sources close to Grit Daily shared that he had also helped pay for educational programs and graduate programs for them to help excel them in the media and journalism space.

What’s Next for the Legal?

As to what’s next for the judicial process? Epstein may have evaded charges again, taking his reputation with him in death, but the legal certainly isn’t over. A cache of previously sealed legal documents, released on Friday by a federal appeals court, provided new, disturbing details about what was going on inside Mr. Epstein’s homes and how his associates recruited young women and girls, including one from a Florida high school, according to The New York Times.

The documents were filed as part of a defamation lawsuit in federal court that Virginia Giuffre brought in 2015 against Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s longtime companion and confidante. Ms. Giuffre and Ms. Maxwell settled the lawsuit shortly before the trial was to begin back in 2017.

For prosecutors, the criminal case against Epstein will now be over. However, there are other criminal charges that can now be brought against his business associates, along with a number of civil cases. Remember, Epstein, worth at least $500 billion with many properties in New York, Mexico, Florida, and his private island. Many of these cases may move forward now that the criminal case against Epstein is over.

Andrew "Drew" Rossow is a former contract editor at Grit Daily.

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