He may be gone, but the allegations against him continue. Jeffrey Epstein was accused of trafficking and sexually abusing more young women and girls in a lawsuit filed against his estate on Wednesday, January 15, by the U.S Virgin Islands government — in this case, some of them were allegedly as young as 11 years old.
In a press conference, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George said, “Today the Virgin Islands is standing up on its own for justice,” according to Bloomberg News. She also noted that the lawsuit was separate from the ones already brought against Epstein’s estate by individual survivors.
According to the lawsuit, the late financier’s planes, helicopters, boat and automobiles reportedly moved victims to his private Caribbean islands where he allegedly assaulted them. He was also accused of allegedly holding them captive there, according to docs filed in superior court in St. Thomas. Under criminal enterprise laws, the government is looking for forfeiture of assets on the islands it estimates to be worth around $578 million. Those assets include entities that hold properties in New York, Palm Beach and Paris. Some of the alleged abuse was said to have taken place on the islands of Great St. James and Little St. James.
Epstein had “an expansive scheme of human trafficking and sexual abuse of young women” and hid his alleged crimes in several entities, George said. In particular, the complaint noted the case of a 15-year-old girl who tried to escape captivity by swimming from the island of Little St. James. Epstein and others found her via a search party and took away her passport. Allegedly, a computerized database was kept with a list of underage girls — and apparently, some of them may have appeared even younger than that girl.
The girls ranged in age but were up to 17 years old, and were “deceptively lured” and recruited “with money and promises of employment, career opportunities and school assistance” to the Virgin Islands, CNBC reported. There, Epstein and other abusers “participated in sexual acts of rape and abuse of minors,” the suit reportedly claimed.
Previously, there were numerous allegations that Epstein sexually abused underage girls for money at his Palm Beach residence. Many of Epstein’s accusers said he sexually assaulted them at his New York mansion, too. Then, in May 2006, Epstein was charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex acts with a minor and in June 2008, he appeared in court to plead guilty on two lesser counts and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. He was required to register as a sex offender at the time as well. He was eventually released from jail after serving just 13 months of his sentence.
In a startling development, Epstein was arrested and indicted for sex trafficking of underage girls in July 2019. According to the indictment, he was accused of sexually exploiting and abusing “dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations” — that could possibly include his Caribbean islands.
Epstein pleaded not guilty and potentially faced up to 45 years in prison if he was convicted of those new crimes. But on August 20, 2019, the disgraced businessman was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell of an apparent suicide, according to the New York Times.
New York authorities said they would continue to investigate Epstein’s case after his death, and several women are still filing lawsuits against his estate, Vox reported on September 4. These new, disturbing charges out of the U.S. Virgins island are in addition to those suits.
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