Texarkana, TX 61° Tue H 79° L 62° Wed H 78° L 63° Thu H 74° L 60° Weather Sponsored By:

Don't conceal depth of Jeffrey Epstein's crimes

Don't conceal depth of Jeffrey Epstein's crimes

March 18th, 2019 by Miami Herald in Opinion Editorial

The real extent of multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein's role in an alleged international sex trafficking operation, and that of his former partner, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, is getting closer to being dug out from a stack of sealed court documents in New York.

Those records could fill in some of the gaps surrounding Alexander Acosta's suspect actions that allowed Epstein to skirt justice when Florida law enforcement had him on the hook for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of girls in Palm Beach. Acosta, now U.S. secretary of labor, was U.S. attorney in charge of the Southern District of Florida at the time of this case 10 years ago.

Last week, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York gave Maxwell and her attorneys until March 19 to establish "good cause" as to why the court papers should remain sealed. If they fail to do so, the summary judgment and supporting documents will be made public.

For the second time in less than a month, a court ruling got it right, amplifying the chorus of victims, judges, editorial boards—especially this one—and appalled Americans demanding justice. If the unsealed records reveal more unspeakable crimes against young women, then—as we have said repeatedly—Acosta should resign, something we think he ought to have done already. He failed to punish the politically connected Epstein when he had the chance, instead agreeing to a deal giving—perhaps "gifting" is closer to the truth—Epstein 18 months in a county jail with perks; he served just 13.

The dormant Epstein case rose to the front pages with the Miami Herald's "Perversion of Justice" investigation by reporter Julie K. Brown, which showed that Acosta and other prosecutors deliberately kept Epstein's victims in the dark so that they could not appear at his sentencing and hurt his plea deal.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, based in West Palm Beach, ruled that Acosta and his assistant prosecutors flat-out broke the law when they hid the plea agreement from at least 30 underage victims accusing Epstein of sexual abuse. This violation of the Crime Victims' Rights Act, a federal law that grants victims certain rights, meant none of the victims could appear in court.

In the appeals court case in New York, the sealed documents stem from a 2017 civil case related to when Epstein associate Maxwell was sued for slander for calling Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers, a liar. Giuffre, then 16, said she was working at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort when she was approached by Maxwell about becoming a masseuse for the hedge fund manager. That soon evolved into a sexual pyramid scheme. Epstein paid local girls $200 to give him massages. He offered the same amount if they'd recruit other girls. The massages would turn into sex. The feds were looking into allegations that girls were trafficked across state lines and even internationally when the investigation was closed.

Maxwell is fighting to keep the case file sealed. Obviously, we think otherwise. There is no "good cause" for any further secrecy. It would only pile injustice on top of injustice.

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