The Curious Case of Jeffrey Epstein

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The Curious Case of Jeffrey Epstein

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Jeffrey Epstein was an American financier and convicted sex offender. Epstein appeared to be very wealthy, as he lived in a massive townhouse and gave large sums of money to a variety of causes and institutions. The source of his money, however, seems to be widely disputed. Epstein has been called a billionaire, but Forbes claims that he was more likely “worth a fraction of that.” In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to a felony charge of solicitation and prostitution involving a minor and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Epstein only served 3 months and was granted work release, allowing him to commute to a work office outside the jail six days a week. His plea deal came under scrutiny again last winter when Miami Herald investigative reporter, Julie K. Brown, published a series on Epstein, his victims and the powerful people who advocated for him to receive a lighter sentence over a decade ago. Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges of sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He was denied bail ahead of his trial. Epstein died while he was in jail, as his death was officially ruled as a suicide by the New York City medical examiner. However, his death is being investigated by the FBI as a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother claimed that his death may have actually been a homicide. Dr. Michael Baden said that Mr. Epstein experienced a number of injuries that are “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.” Two prison guards are now facing charges related to their alleged failure to check on Epstein every 30 minutes on the night of his death. “The defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” said U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman in a statement, “Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction”.. While Epstein’s death has all but effectively ended the criminal case against him, several of his alleged victims have sued his estate.

Implications:

One of the most interesting aspects surrounding the case and Epstein’s death is the high-profile social circle that he kept throughout his life. Epstein was known to associate with politicians, celebrities and other people in the public eye. The most notable of his former associates include Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Andrew. Trump spoke warmly of Epstein in an interview in 2002, “It is even said [Epstein] likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them on the younger side”. However, when more recently asked about his ties to Epstein, Trump said that he had a falling out with him and hadn’t spoken to him in 15 years. Former president Bill Clinton issued a statement publicly acknowledging that he has ridden on Epstein’s private plane (nicknamed the “Lolita Express”), but was unaware of his criminal activity. A Clinton spokesperson confirmed that the former president took a total of four trips on Epstein’s airplane (to Europe and Asia and twice to Africa), that included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation. In regard to Prince Andrew, the two men first met in 1999 and were spotted walking together in Central Park in late 2010. This was at the point when Epstein was already a convicted sex offender. Prince Andrew has been documented staying at Epstein’s various properties but denied allegations he had sex with one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre. After facing enormous amounts of public criticism after the interview he had on his association with Epstein, Prince Andrew announced he was stepping down from his royal duties “for the foreseeable future.” 

I am usually not one to ascribe to conspiracy theories, but the timing of Epstein’s death seemed quite convenient considering the implications of his case. The fact that Epstein had ties to some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people throughout his life makes the events surrounding his death even more suspicious. If Epstein was still alive and the criminal case against him continued to proceed, who knows which members of the ruling class could have been further implicated in his underage sex trafficking ring. Baden’s claim and the charges pressed against the two guards at the jail only adds more fuel to the conspiracy theory suggesting that Epstein’s “suicide” was in fact a coordinated hit orchestrated by the rich and powerful people who have previously associated with the financier and sex offender. However, with Epstein now dead and the criminal case against him effectively ended, we are frustratingly left with only more questions and speculation instead of being given the answers we deserve.