- Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide on August 10.
- In July, he was charged with sex trafficking, accused of molesting dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s. He had pleaded not guilty.
- Sexual abuse allegations against Epstein began in 2005, when a 14-year-old girl accused him of molesting her at a Palm Beach, Florida, house.
- In 2008, Epstein took a widely criticised plea deal in a Florida case and spent 13 months in jail.
- Prosecutors in New York had accused him of running a sex-trafficking operation from at least 2002 to 2005 involving girls as young as 14, but they had to drop the case after his death.
- Here’s everything you need to know about the sexual abuse cases against Epstein.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide on August 10, and the federal sex-trafficking case against him was formally dismissed on Thursday. Dozens of his accusers spoke in the courtroom on Tuesday, expressing their anger and disappointment that they wouldn’t be getting justice.
In July, the convicted sex offender was charged with sex trafficking, accused of molesting dozens of underage girls, but the case against the wealthy financier has been in the works for years. He had pleaded not guilty.
The 66-year-old once socialised with the likes of President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Britain’s Prince Andrew. And after allegations that Epstein molested a teenage girl first surfaced in 2005, he took a widely criticised plea deal, spent 13 months in jail, and became a longtime subject of tabloid features.
Here’s a timeline of the sexual abuse cases against Epstein.
March 2005: A 14-year-old girl claimed Jeffery Epstein molested her at a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.
In 2005, a 14-year-old girl and her parents claimed that she had gone to Epstein’s house with a female acquaintance from Royal Palm Beach High School. The girl said she gave Epstein a massage in exchange for money, according to Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown, who wrote the series “Perversion of Justice” about Epstein last November.
2005: Palm Beach investigators spoke with five alleged victims and 17 witnesses as part of their probe into Epstein.
Investigators spoke with several alleged victims and witnesses as part of their probe into Epstein.
“The investigative files alleged Epstein brought the girls to his house under the guise that they would give him massages, which police said would turn sexual. Some of the girls told police Epstein would use sex toys on them while he got a ‘massage.’ In another instance, one said she was paid to have sex with one of Epstein’s female assistants, and several girls reported that Epstein touched their vaginas while he masturbated.”
Police said Epstein paid the girls anywhere between $US200 and $US1,000 for the massages, then offered them additional money to recruit other girls, NBC reported.
May 2006: Police sought to have Epstein charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor and lewd and lascivious molestation, but the case was instead referred to a grand jury.
Source: Miami Herald
June 2006: After hearing from one girl, the grand jury charged Epstein with one count of solicitation of prostitution.
Source: Miami Herald
June 2007: The FBI prepared a 53-page indictment against Epstein, but his lawyers instead started plea negotiations with Alexander Acosta, then the US District Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
June 2008: Epstein pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor under the age of 18, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
July and August 2008: Epstein’s accusers learned about his non-prosecution agreement plea deal, and sought to have it unsealed, launching a yearlong court battle.
July 2009: Epstein was released from jail five months early and became a registered sex offender.
September 2009: Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement was made public, and dozens of his accusers filed civil lawsuits against the financier, claiming they were molested when they were underage. Epstein began a long process of settling the cases outside of court.
January 2015: Virginia Roberts Guiffre accused Epstein of forcing her to have sex with Prince Andrew and lawyer Alan Dershowitz when she was underage in a Florida lawsuit.
Roberts provided photos of her with Prince Andrew and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who she claimed worked with Epstein,according to the Miami Herald.
Maxwell, Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew denied her claims.
2015: Several civil lawsuits alleged that Epstein and his sometimes-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell operated an international sex trafficking ring. Roberts Guiffre filed a lawsuit against Maxwell, saying she defamed her to the media.
June 2016: A woman claimed Donald Trump violently raped her at an orgy hosted by Epstein in 1994, when she was 13 years old.
The woman first filed a lawsuit in California under the name “Katie Johnson,” but it was thrown out for technical reasons, according to Vox. She later filed in New York under “Jane Doe.”
In the lawsuit, she also accused Epstein of raping her at the orgy.
February 2017: Former Miami federal prosecutor Alex Acosta, who approved Epstein’s non-prosecution deal, was confirmed as Trump’s US secretary of Labour.
June 2017: Roberts settled her defamation lawsuit with Maxwell.
December 2018: Epstein reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit set for trial in Florida, in which several of his accusers would have had a chance to testify.
Epstein settled a defamation suit brought against him by a lawyer of some of his accusers, Bradley Edwards, in December 2018.
Edwards had said Epstein tried to derail his career and end his representation of several women, according to the Associated Press.
Epstein apologised and agreed to pay an undisclosed sum as part of the settlement.
Edwards had said some of the accusers were prepared to testify against Epstein if the case had made it to court.
February 2019: A judge ruled that prosecutors violated the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act by not letting 30 alleged victims testify.
A federal judge ruled that prosecutors under Alex Acosta violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act in 2007 by letting Epstein sign his non-prosecution agreement, according to Reuters.
US District Judge Kenneth Marra in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled that prosecutors violated the act by not letting 30 identified accusers know about the deal before it was agreed upon.
July 6, 2019: Epstein was arrested at a New Jersey airport on sex trafficking charges accusing him of molesting dozens of girls.
He “intentionally sought out minors and knew that many of his victims were in fact under the age of 18,” prosecutors said,according to the Associated Press.
July 8, 2019: Epstein pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges.
Epstein attorney Reid Weingarten called the allegations “ancient stuff,” in court, according to the Associated Press.
The financier was jailed for a bail hearing over fears he might flee.
August 10: Epstein died by suicide in jail.
August 27: More than 20 of Epstein’s accusers appeared in court to deliver emotional testimonies.
More than 20 accusers of Jeffrey Epstein testified in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday in what Judge Richard Berman called both “a matter of law” and “a measure of respect for the victims,” Insider’s Kat Tenbarge reported.
Sixteen women emotionally recounted their experiences being allegedly sexually abused and, for some, being raped by Epstein when they were underage girls, many over a period of several months or years. An additional seven testimonies were read via statements presented by their lawyers or legal counsel.
Before the accusers spoke, Assistant US Attorney Maurene Comey motioned to dismiss the indictment served to the now-deceased Epstein on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, and Epstein’s lawyers argued that the circumstances surrounding his death should be investigated in court.
The federal sex-trafficking case against Epstein was dismissed on August 29.
In a court document filed on August 29 in New York, US District Judge Richard Berman approved a “nolle prosequi” motion from federal prosecutors, meaning they will no longer pursue criminal charges against Epstein.
“Because Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, died while this case was pending, and therefore before a final judgment was issued, the Indictment must be dismissed,” the filing said.
Attorney General Bill Barr has said the Department of Justice still plans to pursue Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking co-conspirators.
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