Texarkana, TX 78° Tue H 85° L 60° Wed H 84° L 62° Thu H 85° L 63° Weather Sponsored By:

Epstein's power, wealth must not be a shield

Epstein's power, wealth must not be a shield

July 10th, 2019 by Dallas Morning News in Opinion Columns

Only the most naive would believe that power and wealth aren't the best defense for the guilty.

This is what makes the stomach-turning case against mega-rich financier Jeffrey Epstein so much the more galling. We don't want to believe that what happened in his case could happen in a nation under rule of law.

But it did happen. Epstein got away with amounted to a slap on the wrist in his first case for abusing girls—spending a little more than a year in "jail." In fact, he had the privilege of spending most days at his plush Palm Beach office where he entertained guests including, as The Miami Herald called it, "female friends."

Our hope is that new charges against Epstein will spotlight the scourge of sex trafficking in a way that will produce a new national resolve to confront this darkness.

According to a federal indictment unsealed Monday in New York, Epstein "sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes" in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla., and other locations.

This should have been resolved a decade ago, when Epstein seemed enroute to a federal prison for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of minor girls at his Palm Beach mansion. He skirted federal prosecution in 2008 when Alex Acosta—then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and now U.S. Labor secretary—stunningly declined to pursue a federal prosecution and allowed Epstein to plead guilty to lesser state prostitution charges. Acosta's pathetic reasoning for buckling—that Epstein brought to town a superstar defense team including former Baylor president Kenneth Starr—was unfitting of any prosecutor.

Epstein served only 13 months of an incredibly lenient 18-month sentence in a Palm Beach jail—an inexplicable sweetheart deal that permitted him to spend 12 hours a day at an office, six days a week, as part of his work-release privileges and provide him immunity from federal prosecution for his sordid activities in Florida. Not until aggressive investigative reporting last November by The Miami Herald exposed the lenient deal and identified about 80 women who said Epstein molested or sexually abused them did this new look at the case pick up steam.

We'll probably never have a full count of the girls Epstein allegedly molested or allowed to be molested. But it is impossible for anyone with a heart and a sound mind not look at this episode with disgust and righteous indignation.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com