The Jeffrey Epstein case is a perfect example of how plea deals favor the rich

I have written before about how plea bargains are used against poor people to get them, even if innocent of the crime were originally arrested for, to plead guilty to some other charge and accept a lower penalty, even if it includes jail time. Poor people do not have the resources to mount a vigorous defense and do not have access to the top prosecutors who make the decisions about who to prosecute and how vigorously. With rich people, it is the other way around, as I have described before with the way that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. treated leniently the wealthy and influential and well-connected and those who contributed to his campaigns (like Harvey Weinstein and members of the Trump family) but went after the poor and Chinese immigrants.

The Miami Herald has published a blockbuster story about how multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein got off very lightly in 2007 even though the child prostitution charges he was facing could have cost him life in prison. Epstein is a real monster and was insatiable in his demands for very young girls and apparently hundreds of them were procured for him and his friends to abuse. Epstein showered his wealthy and politically connected friends with all manner of favors and in return they protected him from the consequences of his utterly depraved behavior. The list of Epstein cronies includes Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Lawrence Krauss, Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz, Kenneth Starr, and others.

The person who arranged the lenient plea deal for him was Alexander Acosta, then Miami’s top federal prosecutor, and who is now Donald Trump’s secretary of labor and has been spoken of as possibly the next Attorney General, though these revelations may scuttle that. As in so many such cases, these high-level prosecuotrs completely ignored or overruled the diligent work done by police investigators and lower level prosecutors in order to protect their friends.

Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.

The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane.

As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.

We may now get more information because of a new civil trial brought by the victims of Epstein will begin in Palm Beach County on December 4 where the victims will finally get to tell their stories. Another federal case seeks to invalidate his plea deal.

Now, more than a decade later, two unrelated civil lawsuits — one set for trial on Dec. 4 — could reveal more about Epstein’s crimes. The Dec. 4 case, in Palm Beach County state court, involves Epstein and Edwards, whom Epstein had accused of legal misdeeds in representing several victims. The case is noteworthy because it will mark the first time that Epstein’s victims will have their day in court, and several of them are scheduled to testify.

A second lawsuit, known as the federal Crime Victims’ Rights suit, is still pending in South Florida after a decade of legal jousting. It seeks to invalidate the non-prosecution agreement in hopes of sending Epstein to federal prison. Wild, who has never spoken publicly until now, is Jane Doe No. 1 in “Jane Doe No. 1 and Jane Doe No. 2 vs. the United States of America,” a federal lawsuit that alleges Epstein’s federal non-prosecution agreement was illegal.

Federal prosecutors, including Acosta, not only broke the law, the women contend in court documents, but they conspired with Epstein and his lawyers to circumvent public scrutiny and deceive his victims in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. The law assigns victims a series of rights, including the right of notice of any court proceedings and the opportunity to appear at sentencing.

All of Epstein’s friends benefited from the earlier plea deal because it kept the details of their involvement with Epstein secret. They must be having sleepless nights about what these new trials might reveal about things that they thought had long been successfully buried.

See this series of videos about the case. It is disgusting what Epstein and others did to so many young girls and then got away with. The stories the victims tell are powerful. (If the embedded video does not work, the above link to the news story will have it.)


  1. brucegee1962 says

    Yes, I heard that the orgies at Epstein’s private island could have ended up as a huge campaign issue in 2016 — except that both candidates would have been implicated, so it all got quietly swept under the rug.

  2. bmiller says

    bruce: BUT, BUT,BUT…I thought Trump was about to use the military to arrest all the perverts? He is obviously innocent himself!

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