On July 6, 2019, American financier, "philanthropist," and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested (again). He is charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York.
The federal indictment was unsealed and shared with the public several days ago. To read it, click here: Jeffrey Epstein indictment
The indictment states that Epstein sexually exploited many "minor girls" between 2002 and 2005 in Florida and New York. Some of the girls were as young as 14 at the time of the alleged abuse.
On Tuesday, we reported as many details as we could find on Epstein's arrest and the charges. You can read that article here: An Unbiased Look at What We Know About the Epstein Scandal So Far.
Since Tuesday, a lot more information on the case has been published. We will provide as many updates as we could confirm in this article.
First, we will cover a bit of background on Epstein and the possible reasons he has remained a free man (until now) despite serious allegations and what appears to be a large body of evidence that supports his alleged victims' claims.
Then, we will discuss new developments in the case.
Here is a condensed timeline of the Jeffrey Epstein case.
This timeline is based on a report that The Miami Herald (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article221404845.html) published in November 2018. (For some reason, we aren't able to post a live link to the Herald article, but you can copy and paste that URL in your browser to see the article.)
In 2006, after pressure from the Palm Beach police chief, the FBI opened a federal investigation into Epstein, dubbed "Operation Leap Year.'' Documents list the possible crime as "child prostitution.'' A few months later, the FBI began interviewing potential witnesses and victims from Florida, New York, and New Mexico.
In 2007, as the U.S. Attorney's Office was preparing to present the case to a federal grand jury, Epstein's attorneys requested a meeting to discuss the investigation. That June, a 53-page indictment was prepared by the U.S. Attorney's Office as, simultaneously, plea negotiations are initiated with Epstein's legal team. That August, Alexander Acosta, who was then the U.S. attorney in Miami, entered into direct discussions about the plea agreement. In September, federal prosecutors presented several federal plea agreements. They were rejected by Epstein and his attorneys. Epstein signed a non-prosecution agreement on Sept. 24, but his attorneys continued to delay his court appearance.
In October 2007 – with the non-prosecution agreement still being debated – Acosta met with Epstein lawyer Jay Lefkowitz at the West Palm Beach Marriott to discuss finalizing a deal. Among the terms agreed upon: that the victims would not be notified, that the deal would be kept under seal and all grand jury subpoenas would be canceled.
In 2008, with the plea negotiations and the Justice Department review still in limbo, the FBI continues its probe, locating more witnesses and evidence. That March, preparations were made for a new federal grand jury presentation. In court documents, the U.S. Attorney's Office notes that Epstein's victims are being harassed by his lawyers, who are not specifically named. In May, the Justice Department issues a finding that, if a plea deal is not reached, Epstein can be federally prosecuted. Epstein's lawyers revisited the plea negotiations, and on June 30, Epstein appeared in a Palm Beach County courtroom. He pleaded guilty to state charges: one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor under the age of 18. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail, followed by a year of community control or house arrest. He is adjudicated as a convicted sex offender who must register twice a year in Florida.