Multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, longtime friend of President Donald Trump, has been charged with sex trafficking in New York. That’s a sharp contrast to Epstein’s deferential treatment in Florida for the same alleged crimes by then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now Secretary of Labor in Trump’s cabinet.
According to CNN, the New York indictment claims that Epstein ran a sex trafficking enterprise from 2002-2005 which involved paying girls as young as 14 to have sex with him at his Manhattan home and at his estate in Palm Beach, FL. The indictment also claims that he collaborated with associates and employees to lure girls to his residence for him to abuse.
Such crimes were investigated in Florida a decade ago, but Epstein received what the Miami Herald called “the deal of a lifetime” from Acosta, despite a federal investigation identifying 36 underage victims.
That deal included a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in Miami and enabled Epstein to escape all federal charges while only pleading guilty to 2 state prosecution charges, for which he served 13 months in prison.
The deal also “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe,” the Herald reported, and it even granted immunity to any potential co-conspirators.
Earlier this year in Florida, a federal judge ruled that the Department of Justice broke the law by failing to confer with the alleged victims about that agreement.
Also, federal prosecutors in New York said they could act, despite the non-prosecution deal made in Florida, since it only applied to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida.
Prosecutors have argued that no bail should be set for Epstein, whose vast wealth makes him a flight risk. He’s being held in a federal detention center in Manhattan, with his bail hearing set for July 15, 2019.
NY Indictment Considered a ‘Correction’ of Florida Deal
CNN quoted Davis Boles, an attorney for 3 women who have revealed abuses by Epstein, as saying the new indictment in New York is a “correction” of the 2008 deal made in Florida.
“This shows what could have been done and should have been done 10 years ago if it were not for political influence that Mr. Epstein and his lawyers brought to bear on the process,” Boles told CNN.
In New York, the case is being prosecuted by the Public Corruption Unit of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office. Typically, it handles cases involving government officials or public funds.
Trump once said of Epstein that he’s “a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Human Trafficking Punishments Are Severe
Human trafficking is a serious crime in Texas, as well. In fact, Houston is considered a hub for human trafficking, which often involves forced sexual exploitation.
Both state and federal laws provide severe punishments for such trafficking. A person convicted of human trafficking of a minor can be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison — a far cry from the 13 months Epstein served on lesser charges.
Of course, not everyone has the financial means and connections like multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Regardless of your socioeconomic level, you deserve a vigorous and fair defense according to the American criminal justice system. Whether you’ve been charged with misdemeanor or a serious felony like human trafficking, contact an experienced sex crime defense attorney with the Neal Davis Law Firm.