NEW YORK (Reuters) – Girls who say Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them appeared in a packed New York courtroom on Tuesday for a dramatic listening to lower than three weeks after the financier killed himself whereas awaiting trial on intercourse trafficking expenses.
Lawyer David Boies arrives with shoppers Virginia Giuffre and Annie Farmer for a listening to within the legal case towards Jeffrey Epstein, who died this month in what a New York Metropolis medical expert dominated a suicide, at Federal Courtroom in New York, U.S., August 27, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
“I really feel very offended and unhappy that justice has by no means been served on this case,” Courtney Wild, one of many ladies, instructed the listening to earlier than U.S. District Decide Richard Berman.
Federal prosecutors appeared on the listening to to ask the choose to formally dismiss their case towards Epstein.
Berman defined why he gave the ladies and their legal professionals a chance to deal with the court docket.
“The victims have been included within the continuing as we speak each due to their related experiences and since they need to at all times be concerned earlier than, moderately than after, the very fact,” Berman stated on the outset of the listening to.
One other girl, who selected to not give her title, stated Epstein’s loss of life should be investigated.
“We do must understand how he died. It felt like a complete new trauma. … It didn’t really feel good to get up that morning and discover that he allegedly dedicated suicide,” she stated, holding again tears.
Epstein, who as soon as counted U.S. President Donald Trump and former President Invoice Clinton as pals, was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not responsible to federal expenses of intercourse trafficking involving dozens of women as younger as 14.
The 66-year-old was discovered lifeless Aug. 10 in his cell on the Metropolitan Correctional Middle (MCC) in Decrease Manhattan. An post-mortem concluded that he hanged himself.
Berman ordered prosecutors and protection legal professionals for Epstein to look in court docket after the Manhattan U.S. Legal professional’s workplace stated it needed to dismiss the indictment towards the financier in gentle of his jail cell loss of life.
Throughout the listening to, legal professional Brad Edwards, who represents ladies who say they had been sexually abused by Epstein, stated, “I’ve within the courtroom as we speak 15 victims I symbolize and have represented over time. There are not less than 20 extra who didn’t make this listening to as we speak.”
Edwards additionally stated Epstein’s “premature loss of life” was “curious.”
“Extra so, it makes it completely inconceivable for the victims to ever get the day in court docket that they needed, and to get full justice. That now can by no means occur.”
On the listening to, Assistant U.S. Legal professional Maurene Comey stated the regulation required the dismissal of the case in gentle of Epstein’s loss of life, however stated the federal government’s investigation was ongoing.
“Dismissal of this indictment as to Jeffrey Epstein by no means prohibits or inhibits the federal government’s ongoing investigation into potential co-conspirators,” Comey stated.
Epstein’s loss of life has triggered investigations by the FBI, the U.S. Division of Justice’s Workplace of Inspector Basic and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which runs the detention facility.
Epstein’s arrest in New York got here greater than a decade after Epstein prevented being prosecuted on related federal expenses in Florida by placing a deal that allowed him to plead responsible to state prostitution expenses.
That deal, which has been extensively criticized as too lenient, resulted in Epstein serving 13 months in a county jail, which he was allowed to depart through the day on work launch.
A number of ladies have filed civil lawsuits towards Epstein’s property since his loss of life, saying he abused them and looking for damages. Some have alleged the abuse continued after his plea deal and even whereas he was on work launch from his earlier jail sentence.
Simply two days earlier than his loss of life, Epstein signed a will putting all of his property, price greater than $577 million, in a belief, in line with a replica of the doc seen by Reuters.
Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Enhancing by Noeleen Walder and Will Dunham