This would indeed get the attention of Judge Richard Berman in his decision on bail for Jeffrey Epstein — if Brad Edwards can provide proof. Representing one of the then-unnamed victims in the original case, Edwards claimed that Epstein continued to get serviced by an unending series of young women during his 13-month jail term after the 2008 plea deal. Epstein spent six days a week in his local Palm Beach offices, only sleeping in the jail and spending one full day a week there.
However, Edwards did qualify this accusation by saying he had no way to prove that the young women were underage at the time:
Brad Edwards says Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t really in jail while serving his sentence and had female visitors, who “engaged in very similar conduct to that which was described in the Palm Beach police report. It was sexual in nature.” https://t.co/4xnxPqR2mJ pic.twitter.com/CIcCTfMgjh
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 16, 2019
“It was not for some business arrangement and it was for… improper sexual contact,” Edwards said, adding that the new accusers said they were under 21, though they may not have been minors.
“He just wasn’t in jail. He only slept there. He was in his office most of the day and what I can tell you he had visitors, female visitors,” Edwards said.
“All I can say is more than one person that visited him,” Edwards said, declining to provide more details because of ongoing litigation. “They believed they were going there for something other than a sexual purpose.
“Once there, he used his perfect master manipulation to turn the situation into something sexual,” Edwards said. “Not one of the individuals was a prostitute. These were all people who at the time that wanted something. They came over under false pretenses and he manipulated them and now his attorneys have labeled them prostitutes.”
This sounds shocking, but it might not be more than a fizzle. Unless the women involved were either minors or forced to comply with Epstein’s sexual demands, then there may not be any crime involved. (There could be grounds for civil action if Epstein lured them there under fraudulent pretense, though.) It’s not a crime for two adults to consent to sex, even if one’s on a ridiculously soft work-release schedule and allowed to be in his private offices for “work.”
Of course, Edwards knows all this too, so presumably he’d have already confirmed that this information is about criminal conduct. Presumably, however, doesn’t mean that it’s assumed. Michael Avenatti made a lot of wild claims about public figures too, and look how reliable that turned out to be. Edwards is no Avenatti, but allegations aren’t proof, either, no matter how fun the press conference is while making them.
Still, one has to wonder about Epstein’s post-conviction habits. This is the first public allegation that they continued in the same vein after scoring that sweet non-prosecution deal from Alex Acosta in 2007. If that’s true, it at least dents the contention from Epstein’s attorneys that he has behaved as a model citizen since his conviction, such as it was. Thus far, publicly anyway, we haven’t seen any women allege sex-trafficking activities after Epstein’s jail term ended.
Prosecutors may sound confident that they can get around that non-prosecution agreement, but what they really need is proof of crimes that took place afterward. Edwards’ client Courtney Wild called for victims to step forward now and to get the justice that she was denied in that Epstein-Acosta agreement:
"As long as victims speak up, [Jeffrey Epstein] isn't going to get away this time," Epstein accuser Courtney Wild says Tuesday, over a week after federal sex trafficking charges were filed against the financier; Wild alleges she was abused by Epstein at 14 https://t.co/5cpsMpgGZP pic.twitter.com/ggknIqbsID
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 16, 2019
“As long as the victims speak up,” Wild says, “he won’t get away with it this time. … He will never stop sexually abusing children until he is in jail.” Given the facts of the earlier case, it seems highly likely that Wild is correct. If there are victims from after 2008, let’s hope they come forward soon — if they haven’t already done so quietly with federal prosecutors.