Aug 10, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein's accusers respond to his death

Protestors hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of a New York City Federal courthouse on July 8. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein died on Saturday in an apparent suicide, a day after unsealed documents from a 2015 defamation lawsuit detailed what Epstein’s accusers describe as his sex-trafficking operation, and a month after being charged with sex trafficking underage girls.

What's next: The criminal case against Epstein ends with his death, but accusers' lawyers are still seeking justice for their clients. One lawyer for Epstein's accusers, civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom, on Saturday called for the administrators of Epstein’s estate to "freeze all his assets and hold them for his victims who are filing civil cases."

Accusers' statements:

"I will never have a sense of closure now. I'm angry as hell that the prison could have allowed this to happen and that I and his other victims will never see him face the consequences for his horrendous actions. I hope that whoever allowed this to happen, also faces some type of consequence. You stole from us, the huge piece of healing that we needed to move on with our lives."
One of attorney Lisa Bloom's clients in Epstein's sex trafficking case
"I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won't have to face his survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people. Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served. I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims."
— Jennifer Araoz, one of Epstein's accusers, who said she was sexually assaulted by him in 2002, when she was 15

Lawyers' statements, on behalf of their clients, Epstein's accusers:

“I guess there is somewhat an element of relief because the fear of him getting out is obviously over, but there is also, they’ll never be able to look into his eye and say, ‘You hurt me,’ there’s that element of closure that he’s taken away from them.”
— Attorney Kimberly Lerner, who represents one of Epstein’s accusers
“The reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of brave and truthful victims should not end with Jeffrey Epstein’s cowardly and shameful suicide. The fact that Epstein took his own life within 24 hours of the unsealing of detailed and devastating documents and exhibits in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, which informed the public of the scope, scale and sophistication of the international sex trafficking operation Epstein conducted, is no coincidence."
— Attorney Sigrid McCawley, who represents Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre
Predator Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred he lived to face justice. Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We’re just getting started.
— Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents two Epstein accusers, on Twitter.
“The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled is both unfortunate and predictable. ... The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused. We will continue to represent his victims and will not stop in their pursuit of finality and justice. It is never too late to come forward with information.”
— Attorney Brad Edwards, who represents several Epstein accusers

Go deeper: Jeffrey Epstein dead in apparent suicide

Go deeper

What we know: The life and death of Jeffrey Epstein

A protest group called "Hot Mess" holds signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8. Photo: Stephanie Keith / Stringer/Getty Images.

Federal prosecutors charged multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein with sexual abuse and sex trafficking of underage girls in July. On Aug. 10, the 66-year-old was found dead in an apparent suicide at a federal detention center in New York City.

The latest: After alleged victims and their attorneys testified at a hearing on Aug. 27, a federal judge formally closed the criminal sex trafficking case against Epstein Aug. 29. Meanwhile, prosecutors in France opened a preliminary investigation into Epstein, "in connection with possible offenses such as rape, the sexual assault of minors and criminal conspiracy" in late August.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 22, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein dead in apparent suicide

Jeffrey Epstein. Photo: Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein, a financier and registered sex offender accused of sex trafficking female minors, is dead in an apparent suicide at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center.

The latest: Law enforcement officials said Epstein, 66, hanged himself and was found in his jail cell Saturday about 7:30am. Attorney General Bill Barr asked the inspector general to open an investigation into Epstein's death, as the FBI conducts its own investigation. Authorities investigated a previous suicide attempt in July. An autopsy was performed on his body, officials said Sunday, without releasing details, per AP.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 12, 2019

Prosecutors in France move to investigate Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein's apartment in Paris on August 13. Photo: Mehdi Taamallah/Nurphoto via Getty Images

Prosecutors in France are opening a preliminary investigation into deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, "in connection with possible offenses such as rape, the sexual assault of minors and criminal conspiracy," the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The criminal case against Epstein technically ended with his death. But as American prosecutors refocus their attention on possible accomplices in Epstein's sex-trafficking ring and some accusers plan to file new suits, FBI and international investigations are gaining traction and the scope of the case continues to expand.

Go deeperArrowAug 24, 2019