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Judges Rule Against Epstein Victims In Ruling To Uphold Plea Deal And Protect Accomplices

Jeffrey Epstein screenshot
Again more suspicious circumstances surround the death of pedophile socialite Jeffrey Epstein. (Photo: YouTube)

“This is impossible to understand — the government intentionally misled the victims but found a way to get away with it by working with a child molester to get around the law. And the judges ruled in their favor. How?”

A three judge panel ruled on Wednesday to uphold serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s secret 2008 plea deal, which granted immunity to the child sex trafficker’s accomplices, despite acknowledging that federal prosecutors “affirmatively misled” more than 30 of Epstein’s teenage victims by excluding them from their secret negotiations with Epstein’s lawyers. But while two judges ruled to protect Epstein’s co-conspirators, a scathing dissent from the third judge will likely embolden victims to pursue another appeal.

“Despite our sympathy for Ms. Wild and others like her, who suffered unspeakable horror at Epstein’s hands, only to be left in the dark—and, so it seems, affirmatively misled—by government lawyers, we find ourselves constrained to deny her petition,” the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled, referring to Courtney Wild, a victim of Epstein’s who brought the case forward. Wild argued that prosecutors violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by negotiating the secret plea deal without the knowledge of victims.

“Because the government never filed charges or otherwise commenced criminal proceedings against Epstein, the CVRA [Crime Victims’ Right Act] was never triggered. It’s not the result we like, but it’s the result we think the law requires,” wrote Judge Kevin Newsom in the majority opinion. Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote a concurring opinion, arguing that because the secret non-prosecution agreement enabled Epstein to avoid charges in the federal court in South Florida, his victims were not legally allowed to seek relief under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

Judge Frank Hull dissented, asserting that “nothing, and I mean nothing, in the CVRA’s plain text requires the Majority’s result,” and slammed her colleagues for using a contrived statutory interpretation “to bail out the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

“According to the majority, because the office cleverly entered into a sweetheart plea deal with Epstein ‘pre-charge’ and never filed the indictment, the victims never had any CVRA rights in the first place,” Hull said. “The Majority’s contorted statutory interpretation materially revises the statute’s plain text and guts victims’ rights under the CVRA. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in the CVRA’s plain text requires the Majority’s result,” wrote Hull.

Hull wrote that the majority decision “eviscerates” the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, and that it “makes the Epstein case a poster-child for an entirely different justice system for crime victims of wealthy defendants.”

“Our criminal justice system should safeguard children from sexual exploitation by criminal predators, not re-victimize them,” wrote Hull.

“The majority concludes that our court is constrained to leave the victims ‘empty handed,’ and it is up to Congress to ‘amend the [CVRA] to make its intent clear,’ ‘’ Hull wrote. “Not true. The empty result here is only because our court refuses to enforce a federal statute as Congress wrote it. The CVRA is not as impotent as the majority now rewrites it to be.

“Given the undisputed facts that the U.S. Attorney’s Office [in Miami] completed its investigation, drafted a 53-page indictment, and negotiated for days with Epstein’s defense team, the office egregiously violated federal law and the victims’ rights by not conferring one minute with them [or their counsel] before striking the final [non-prosecution agreement] deal granting federal immunity to Epstein and his co-conspirators,” Hull concluded.

Hull denounced the non-prosecution agreement’s inclusion of federal immunity to not only Epstein, but “any potential co-conspirator of Epstein, including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, and Nadia Marcinkova,” without any notice to the victims, who government prosecutors lied to throughout the process.

Victims, journalists, and activists have called for investigation into a far broader list of the high-society pedophile’s potential co-conspirators, including Ghislaine Maxwell, Les Wexner, Jean-Luc Brunel, Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew, Glenn Dubin, and many others. The serial pedophile also had close ties to former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump.

Hull’s blistering critique of the majority decision will likely motivate victims to appeal to the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, reports the Miami Herald.

The Epstein Case: Short Recap

The judges recounted some details of the case in their ruling, which they described as “beyond scandalous” and a “national disgrace.”

“Over the course of eight years, between 1999 and 2007, well-heeled and well-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein and multiple co-conspirators sexually abused more than 30 minor girls, including our petitioner, in Palm Beach, Florida and elsewhere in the United States and abroad,” wrote the judges. “Epstein paid his employees to find the minor girls and deliver them to him—some as young as 14. Once Epstein had the girls, he either sexually abused them himself, gave them over to be abused by others, or both. Epstein, in turn, paid bounties to some of his victims to recruit other girls into his ring.”

Former Trump administration labor secretary Alex Acosta was the federal prosecutor in charge of the Epstein case in 2008, accepting a 13-month plea deal for the high-profile pedophile that granted immunity to all of his co-conspirators and shut at least 40 of his teenage accusers out of the process. Epstein was given “work release privileges” for his 13-month sentence that allowed him to leave the jail six days a week, 12 hours a day, to work in a comfortable office. According to the Miami Herald, sheriff department rules clearly state that sex offenders are not qualified for work release.

The judges found that Acosta’s prosecutors “worked hand-in-hand with Epstein’s attorneys or at the very least acceded to their requests” to keep the non-prosecution agreement hidden from victims. In an article last year with the Daily Beast, journalist Vicky J. Ward alleged that Acosta was told to back off the Epstein case because he “belonged to intelligence,” cutting the secret non-prosecution deal and putting a halt to a separate federal investigation into alleged sex trafficking.

Importantly, recent developments indicate that Epstein resumed his expansive child sex trafficking operation after completing his cushy 13-month sentence.

In January, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ top law enforcement officer filed a lawsuit alleging that Epstein sexually trafficked hundreds of young women and girls, some as young as 12, to his private Caribbean island as recently as 2018. The lawsuit states that the registered sex offender used a web of shell companies, as well as an advanced computer database, to track his victims’ availability and movements and to execute and conceal his crimes.

A month after his second arrest in July of last year, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Weeks before his death Epstein had allegedly attempted suicide.

As Citizen Truth wrote in January, U.S. prosecutors said that surveillance video taken outside Epstein’s cell during his first alleged suicide attempt was permanently deleted as “a result of technical errors,” continuing a long series of extreme irregularities – including falsified guard records, other malfunctioned cameras, inconsistencies with the ligature allegedly used for suicide, strange wounds, muscle hemorrhaging, and an injection mark, to name a few – that surrounded the infamous pedophile‘s death and imprisonment. Some pathologists, most notably Michael Baden, argue that Epstein’s autopsy is more consistent with homicide.

Two days before his mysterious death, Epstein transferred an estimated $578 million in assets to a trust, making it more difficult for investigators to track the funds and for victims to acquire compensatory damages. Strangely, Epstein listed Bill Gates’ former science adviser Boris Nikolic as a “successor executor” to manage his will if the named executors, Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn, can’t complete their roles.

Attorney General William Barr, who oversees the Bureau of Prisons, has called the strange circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death the “perfect storm of screw ups.” Barr was originally asked to recuse himself from the case because of his past connections with Epstein, having formerly worked at Kirkland and Ellis, a prominent law firm that represented the multi-millionaire pedophile. Barr’s father also reportedly hired Epstein to teach at an elite Manhattan private school in the 1970s, even though he did not have a degree.

The warden in charge when Epstein died was recently promoted to a new supervisor role, reports the Daily Mail.

Ghislaine Maxwell

Prominent Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre also condemned the ruling and the corrupt power structure that has shown more dedication to protecting child rapists than victims. Giuffre was a 15-year-old spa assistant at Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago country club in Palm Beach when she was allegedly recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell, one of Epstein’s “fixers” who helped him find and train new girls, to serve as a sex slave in 1999.

Giuffre says she was instructed to recruit new girls for Epstein, a detail shared by multiple other accusers, and was “required” to have sexual relations with numerous members of Epstein’s high profile network, including Prince Andrew and celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Has The Government And The Media Protected Epstein?

Judge Newsom, the author of the majority opinion, diverted the blame from the court to the “national media” for their total failure to inform the public about the Epstein scandal. As Citizen Truth has previously written, mainstream outlets like ABC and Vanity Fair suppressed their journalists’ coverage of the well-connected predator.

Nick Bryant, the journalist who published Epstein’s “black book” and the author of The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal, a child trafficking cover up by the highest levels of the media and justice system that took place in 1980s Nebraska, has similarly criticized the “spinelessness” of major news outlets in refusing to cover the Epstein saga and other elite child trafficking scandals. Although his reporting is factual, Bryant explains that mainstream publishers have almost universally refused to work with him.

Beyond the national media, the highest levels of the United States government have concealed their knowledge about Epstein’s activities. Journalist Julie K. Brown, whose 2018 investigation into Epstein’s plea deal caught public attention and led to his second arrest, has insinuated that the FBI was aware that Epstein continued his massive child trafficking operation after his 2008 plea deal:

In January, Sen. John McCain’s widow Cindy McCain told the State of the World 2020 conference in Florida that “we all knew what he was doing,” in reference to Epstein, prompting questions as to why top government officials would enable a massive child rape operation.

“You know it’s like everything, it hides in plain sight,” McCain said. “Epstein was hiding in plain sight. We all knew about him. We all knew what he was doing, but we had no one that was – no legal aspect that would go after him. They were afraid of him. For whatever reason, they were afraid of him.”

Eric Weinstein, the managing director of Peter Thiel’s personal investment firm Thiel Capital, has drawn attention to the “glass wall” preventing serious inquiry into the Epstein case. Weinstein met Epstein in 2002 and “did not believe that Jeffrey Epstein was a hedge fund manager” questioning his financial expertise and saying it was like they “hired an actor to play a hedge fund manager.”

Weinstein explained that he is alarmed that what he views as the central questions of the case have yet to be seriously asked:

“Was Jeffrey Epstein known to be attached to any intelligence agency anywhere in the world? Then you have to ask, were any of his activities known to the intelligence agencies and was there any kind of tacit approval and understanding or is there a categorical denial that such techniques may never be used?”

Weinstein also wants to know the location of Epstein’s trading and financial records that could explain his mysterious fortune. He also asks why there has been no inquiry into where Ghislaine Maxwell’s passport was last recorded, and why Epstein’s benefactor and Victoria’s Secret owner Les Wexner hasn’t been seriously questioned about his ties to the child trafficker.

“We tripped over some enormous structure,” said Weinstein. “We don’t know what this structure was. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Epstein’s Ties to Intelligence Agencies

Alleged former Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe, journalist Vicki Ward, journalist Whitney Webb, and journalist Eric Margolis are among the varied sources that have cited Epstein’s alleged connections to the intelligence community as reason for the extreme lenience with which authorities treated him during his prosecution and imprisonment. Giuffre claims that Epstein kept records of her sexual relations with prominent men in his trafficking ring as part of a blackmail operation to gain leverage over powerful figures. Intelligence agencies have a record of engaging in so-called “honey-pot operations.

“CDs in Epstein’s safe labeled: “Young [Name] + [Name]” That looks an awful lot like they found the blackmail tapes,” tweeted the Intercept’s Ryan Grim in August, responding to reports of the FBI’s findings in Epstein’s Manhattan residence.

The allegation that intelligence agencies could be involved with child sex trafficking is shocking, but the Epstein case is not the first time the accusation has been made. Journalist Nick Bryant and former CIA agent and state senator John Decamp revealed strong evidence of a high-level child trafficking cover up in their investigations into “the Franklin Scandal“, and long standing requests for public information about potential CIA ties to the bizarre “Finders cult” recently prompted some FBI declassifications.

Such an extreme accusation is difficult to consider without a historical understanding of the CIA’s involvement in coups of democratically elected governmentsexecutions, drug trafficking, mind control experiments, torture, terrorism, mass propaganda dissemination, and many other illegal and nefarious pursuits. Critics, including multiple presidents, have referred to the agency as an unaccountable criminal organization rather than a legitimate democratic institution.

Similarly, the F.B.I.’s former leader J. Edgar Hoover tried to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. into suicideillegally targeted left-wing and civil liberties groupsinstigated the murder of Fred Hampton, and committed numerous other crimes, yet Washington leaders refused to challenge the F.B.I chief out of fear that he would retaliate with compromising information.

Harry S Truman wrote during his presidency: “We want no Gestapo or secret police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail… Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”

Although the most recent ruling is a setback, victims like Virginia Giuffre and Courtney Wild and journalists like Whitney Webb pledge to continue their fight against the mysterious institutional forces that have impeded deeper investigation into the Epstein child trafficking network.

“Courtney has a lot of fight left in her,” said attorney Bradley Edwards, reaffirming that Epstein’s victims refuse to give up. “One way or the other, we will win. Even if it means we end up in front of the United States Supreme Court or we get Congress to change the law. ”

Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a co-owner Citizen Truth.

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