Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Two Sides in Court: Epstein’s Death No Suicide, Victims Say Justice Denied

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At a court hearing in Manhattan yesterday, a judge heard from both sides in the case of Jeffrey Epstein, the Deep-State financier and convicted sex offender who, New York’s medical examiner says, hanged himself in his jail cell at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10.

A group of Epstein’s victims showed up to vent their anger that they will never face the man who molested them as mere girls. And Epstein’s attorneys showed up to say they don’t believe he committed suicide.

The death is indeed suspicious, given the circumstances and injuries to the man who kept a harem of sex slaves to service him and, they say, his rich and powerful friends.

Not a Suicide
Epstein’s attorneys told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman that his family hired an expert who has concluded that the injuries to Epstein’s neck were, as a detailed report in the Washington Post explained, “more consistent with homicide rather than suicide,” the Daily Mail reported.

The autopsy turned up a broken hyoid bone, which is typically the result of strangulation, not suicide by hanging. Jailers at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Epstein had been imprisoned since his indictment on federal sex-trafficking charges in July, found a grim if strange scene on August 10.

The former Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations member was on his knees, a bed sheet tied into a noose around his neck and attached to his bunk bed.

As well, though jailers were supposed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes, they left him alone for hours. And the jail took him off suicide watch shortly after an attempt in July that left marks on his neck.

Epstein attorney Martin Weinberg asked the judge to probe the unusual death, the Mail reported:

“Find out what happened to our client,” he told the judge. “We’re quite angry.”

When a prosecutor said the manner of Epstein’s death was irrelevant to the current proceedings, the judge responded: “Well, I don’t know.... I think it's fair game for defense counsel to raise its concerns.”

Epstein’s attorney Reid Weingarten, the New York Times reported, told the judge that “the court has a role to play. It is the institution that most people have confidence in in these very troubled times.”

Victims Speak
But the hearing, convened so Berman could dismiss the charges, turned into a forum for Epstein’s victims to “vent their fury,” as the Times headline put it.

“The fact I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at my soul,” said Jennifer Araoz, the woman who detailed Epstein’s rape and abuse in an interview with NBC and an op-ed in the Times.

Another accuser, Courtney Wild, called him a coward for killing himself to avoid trial.

Reported the Times:

It was a moment of catharsis. Never had so many of Mr. Epstein’s accusers, from so many places, gathered to tell grotesquely similar stories, laying bare the breadth of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking operation....

“Mr. Epstein’s death obviously means that a trial in which he is a defendant cannot take place,” Judge Berman said. “I believe it is the court’s responsibility, and manifestly within its purview, to ensure that the victims in this case are treated fairly and with dignity.”...

For more than an hour, they took turns describing their trauma and voicing their anger that Mr. Epstein had avoided accountability for decades. Some women spoke anonymously; some through lawyers. Sixteen of them spoke in person, many with shaky voices, trembling hands and tears.

Epstein preferred his victims young, as with Jane Doe, who testified, the Times reported, that the sex fiend molested her at his sprawling ranch in New Mexico. The experience was, Epstein told the then 15-year-old, a way “to grow.”

“After he finished with me, he told me to describe in detail how good my first sexual experience felt,” she said, the Times reported.

And yet another woman said Epstein forcibly raped her at his isle in U.S. Virgin Islands. “Mr. Epstein grabbed her wrist and pulled her body ‘onto his already naked body,’” she told the court, the Times reported. Her pleas to stop, she said, “just seemed to excite him more.”

Though the federal indictment accused Epstein of sex trafficking and paying girls for sex, then paying them more to become recruiters, it’s clear now that Epstein forcibly raped them as well.

Even worse, the woman accused of being his procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of deceased Israeli spy and British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, is also accused of partaking in the sexual abuse.

On that note, a federal prosecutor told the judge that investigations into the employees and associates who helped Epstein molest the girls and his crimes will continue.

Image: Devonyu via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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