Why the Trump White House Is Caught Up in the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

Mr. Trump instructed New York journal in 2002 that Mr. Epstein was a “terrific guy” whom he had recognized for 15 years.

“He’s a lot of fun to be with,” the president mentioned at the time. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

The expenses in opposition to Mr. Epstein predate Saturday’s arrest by greater than a decade, and contain a sordid historical past that has infuriated victims and raised questions of preferential remedy by regulation enforcement.

In 2005, the dad and mom of a 14-year-old woman instructed the police in Palm Beach, Fla., that Mr. Epstein had molested their daughter at his dwelling there. Before the police referred the case to the F.B.I. in 2006, they recognized three dozen potential victims, who mentioned that Mr. Epstein had paid them, whereas they had been underage, for massages, oral intercourse and intercourse, in line with a police report obtained by The Miami Herald.

The abuse dated again to 2001, in line with The Herald. Most of the victims had been between 13 and 16. Many got here from low-income backgrounds and had been instructed they may earn $200 or $300 for giving Mr. Epstein a therapeutic massage, the Herald reported.

“We just wanted money for school clothes, for shoes,” one girl instructed The Herald.

Federal prosecutors in Miami initially drafted a 53-page indictment in opposition to Mr. Epstein. But in 2008, these prosecutors — led by Mr. Acosta, then the area’s United States legal professional, and now Mr. Trump’s labor secretary — struck a take care of Mr. Epstein’s attorneys that allowed him to keep away from federal expenses. Instead, Mr. Epstein pleaded responsible to state expenses of soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Under the federal expenses, Mr. Epstein might have confronted life in jail. After the deal, he served 13 months in jail. He had work-release privileges for six days per week, 12 hours every day, throughout which a personal driver picked him up and took him to a close-by workplace.

Source link Nytimes.com

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