Everybody calls it “Pedophile Island.” If you ask anyone about Jeffrey Epstein, the room goes quiet—some people even leave.
A mile southeast of St. Thomas, you will find billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein’s 75-acre Little St. James Island. It’s an island where everyone there is bound to secrecy. Many of those hired to work on the island are tied to non-disclosure agreements, according to statements told to The Associated Press by former employees.
Epstein, 66, bought the island more than two decades ago, and later purchased the neighboring Great St. James Island. Over the years, he has transformed the property, clearing the native vegetation, ringing the property with towering palm trees and planting two massive U.S. flags on both ends.
But this island is no oasis. It’s a legal horror.
“He wasn’t well-received,” said St. Thomas native, Spencer Consolvo. “People think he’s too rich to be policed properly.” Another native, Kevin Goodrich, says that “everybody calls it ‘Pedophile Island,’…it’s our dark corner.”
On Tuesday, Epstein, a convicted pedophile, was arrested immediately after he stepped off his private jet at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, on charges of sex-trafficking. He appeared in a Manhattan federal court, pleading not guilty to charges. He has also been charged with a related conspiracy count for allegedly sexually abusing a network of underage girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida.
The charges against Epstein cover crimes allegedly committed from 2002 through 2005.
The Sealed Indictment: 19-CRIM-490
The legal indictment states that three unidentified employees helped hire underage girls to give Epstein massages in the nude, during which “Epstein would escalate the nature and scope of physical contact with his victim to include, among other things, sex acts such as groping and direct and indirect contact with the victim’s genitals.”
The indictment further states that “[he] typically would also masturbate during these sexualized encounters, ask victims to touch him while he masturbated, and touch victims’ genitals with his hands or with sex toys.”
This marks the second time Epstein has been arrested on these charges, which has sparked questions by tourists visiting St. Thomas.
FBI Assistant Director, William F. Sweeney Jr. has asked anyone who may have been victimized by Epstein or anyone who may have information about his alleged criminal behavior, to please call them at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
“We want to hear from you, regardless of the age you are now, or whatever age you were then, no matter where the incident took place. The bravery it takes to call us might empower others to speak out about the crimes committed against them. It is important to remember there was never, nor will there ever be an excuse for this type of behavior. In the eyes of the FBI, the victims will always come first.”