Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier convicted 11 years ago of soliciting minors for prostitution, now stands accused of preying on children in a manner that is disturbingly familiar to sex-trafficking experts: targeting society’s most vulnerable.
A federal indictment unsealed Monday charges that Epstein “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls,” some as young as 14, at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, and other locations. The indictment describes the victims as “particularly vulnerable to exploitation.”
Epstein has pleaded not guilty.
Bill Clinton releases a statement regarding his relationship with Epstein:
Bill Clinton broke his silence on his former associate Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest for sex trafficking on Monday to distance himself from the convicted pedophile and say he knew nothing of the new charges against him.
Former president Clinton insisted he had not had contact with Epstein for years.
President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,’ a statement released by his office read.
‘In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation.
‘Staff, supporters of the Foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip.
In 2007, he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution in a sweetheart deal in Florida which involved him spending a year in a low-restriction detention center.
Before that conviction, he and Clinton had socialized together and the former president flew on one of his private jets four times. Epstein also donated to The Clinton Foundation.
Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Speak Out:
“I was young, I was scared, I knew these people were powerful,” Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who was 16 when Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly recruited and groomed her for sexual slavery, told the Miami Herald in 2018 as part of the newspaper’s massive investigation of Epstein’s misconduct. “I didn’t know what would happen if I said ‘no.’ I didn’t know what would happen if I reported them. That 16-year-old girl just let it happen.”
Epstein pleaded not guilty to two charges of sex trafficking minors in a Manhattan federal court on Monday. The indictment comes over a decade after the financier reached a suspiciously lenient plea deal with then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta’s office after facing similar charges, which a Florida federal judge later ruled was a violation of the survivor’ rights.
Giuffre had been working at Mar-a-Lago when Maxwell recruited her to be a masseuse for Epstein, and claims she was forced to have sex with his prominent associates, including attorney Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew, Duke of York. (Dershowitz and Prince Andrew have both denied Giuffre’s allegations.) She said she was sent to Little Saint James, Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she alleges she participated in orgies with older men while underage.
“Before you know it, I’m being lent out to politicians and to academics and…royalty and people that you just, you would never think, ‘How did you get into that position of power in the first place?'” Giuffre said.
You beat yourself up mentally and physically. You can’t ever stop your thoughts.
Courtney Wild, another survivor, said she met Epstein in 2002 when she was 14 and reportedly still had braces on her teeth. Like he did with many of the accusers, he first asked her to give him a massage in exchange for cash. Wild, who later helped recruit other girls for Epstein, said he liked girls who looked like her — white, very young, slender, and easy to manipulate.
“He told me he wanted them as young as I could find them,” Wild told the Miami Herald in 2018. “If I had a girl to bring him at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then that’s how many times I would go a day. He wanted as many girls as I could get him. It was never enough.”
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