The billionaire Jeffrey Epstein pleaded not guilty yesterday in Manhattan to charges of sex-trafficking girl as young as fourteen. Epstein should be presumed innocent, but he did it. He’s a twisted, demented politically-connected pedophile and I hope prosecutors nail him, preferably to a cross but I’ll settle for a very long prison stretch.
Members of congress have expressed their disgust with Epstein, and the federal government’s previous plea deal agreement with him that allowed him to be sentenced to a short period of time at a country club prison — despite acknowledging that he had sexually abused numerous young women, some underage teens. “The fact that this monster received such a pathetically soft sentence is a travesty that should outrage us all,” Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska recently wrote in a letter to the Department of Justice. “I am particularly disturbed by this reporting indicating that federal prosecutors went out of their way to arrange this sweetheart deal for Epstein.”
I wrote a story here yesterday explaining the secrets behind Epstein’s arrest and identifying which public officials are tied to him and could be in legal trouble themselves.
Today let me explain — in very simple language that even members of congress may be able to understand — how to put Epstein in prison for a long, long time. I’ll give names and details below but it’s really quite simple.
Step 1: Interview Epstein’s former bookkeeper. Step 2: Interview a key former Epstein employee. Step 3: Interview Epstein’s French modeling industry friend. Step 4: Interview Trump’s secretary of labor. Step 5: Interview public officials and witnesses with knowledge of what took place with Epstein’s young victims at his New Mexico ranch.
The federal indictment states that Epstein “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls” at his homes around the country, including Florida, New York and New Mexico, and on a private island he owned. Epstein or his employees paid some of his victims to recruit fresh underage girls for him to assault. He was charged with one count of sex trafficking and one count of sex-trafficking conspiracy over accusations dating to the period between 2002 and 2005.
Incidentally, Epstein pimped out young women to his rich and famous friends. Former President Bill Clinton had a disgusting relationship with Epstein. I can’t prove he had sex with women Epstein provided him but I’d bet dollars to donuts that he did.
Donald Trump also had a creepy relationship with Epstein, but I uncovered nothing indicating it was as vile as the one Clinton maintained with him. However, Trump did pick as his secretary of labor Alexander Acosta, the U.S. attorney in Miami in 2008 who helped Epstein get his earlier sweetheart plea deal, and Acosta has a lot of explaining to do.
I seriously doubt Trump picked Acosta because of anything having to do with Epstein but I fully expect Rachel Maddow and the morons at Mother Jones to claim he did, assuming they haven’t already. I don’t know because I don’t watch the former or read the latter, nor do I have any interest in knowing what they think or say about anything. I put them in the same category as Fox News and Alex Jones. They all suffer from various derangement syndromes tied to their political leanings and, in come cases, like Jones, apparent mental illness.
The Epstein story erupted after Virginia Roberts — who last I heard was running a sex trafficking non-profit in Colorado — gave a sworn statement in a federal court filing that claimed that under Epstein’s tutelage she “was a teen sex slave forced to have sex with Prince Andrew” and that she also saw Bill Clinton on Epstein’s “orgy island.”
In various interviews and court statements, Roberts has claimed — and I believe a great deal of what she has said — that she was abused by Epstein and that he subsequently pimped her out
to various of his friends. Epstein would have sex with almost anyone except “they couldn’t be black.” She also said that an unnamed Frenchman once flew a pair of 12-year-old French
girls to Palm Beach as a “surprise” birthday gift for Epstein.
I have been told by highly credible sources that Epstein sent young women he had assaulted, and psychologically destroyed, to Royal Palm Beach High School, among other places, to recruits new victims. They’d tell the new girls they’d get paid $200 a pop to give a massage to a man the recruiters knew. Some of the new recruits thought it was a legitimate massage, for an older person. “We were constantly on the look for other girls that might satisfy
Jeffrey,” Virginia Roberts said in the interview with her attorneys.
One lawyer who represented a number of Epstein’s victims told me:
One of my clients was 13. When they got to Epstein’s estate the staff would write down their names and phone numbers and tell them to tell Epstein they were 18. And [name deleted by me] told them to tell Epstein they were 18. That way he could claim he had no idea they were so young.
So they’d go in and sometimes he’d start jerking off and sometimes he ended up having sex with them. Some refused to go back and some did. He bought one girl a car — great, but he totally fucked her up. She was on track for playing on the U.S. Olympic soccer team. The youngest was 13, they were high school students.
The FBI amassed a mountain of evidence against Epstein and even a jury of full-fledged idiots would have come back with a guilty verdict. But George W. Bush’s Department of Justice agreed to a bizarre plea deal that was drafted by Epstein’s legal team and hence the self-confessed pedophile spent only one year in a luxury prison. This preposterous agreement capped damages against the pedophile to $100,000 per girl and prevented his victims from seeking further financial redress.
Incidentally, Epstein’s legal team included Alan Dershowitz, who various witnesses claim had sex with girls provided by
Epstein and who was allowed to destroy the victims’ reputations before a grand jury. Dershowitz, a vile little man, has denied that he had sex with young women Epstein provided. That he sought to destroy Epstein’s accusers in court is not in dispute.
Epstein’s lead lawyer was Roy Black, whose past achievements
include winning an acquittal for William Kennedy Smith for allegedly raping a Palm Beach teenager. Following that trial Black married a juror in the case. Epstein also got legal help from Ken Starr, the pious zealot who sought to get Bill Clinton impeached. (In my view incorrectly even though I detest Bill, who I consider to be a rapist and guilty of sexual assault, but those crimes took place, to my knowledge, prior to his becoming president. So I would have favored imprisoning Clinton for what he did, which would have barred him from becoming president, but his sexual exploitation of Monica Lewinsky, as cruel and twisted as it was, should not have been grounds for impeachment.)
Meanwhile, Alexander Acosta, Trump’s labor secretary and the Bush-appointed U.S. attorney who approved Epstein’s plea deal, was later hit with huge penalties by a judge because he conspired with other prosecutors to illegally listen in on privileged phone calls between inmates and their attorneys. Acosta has never given a full explanation about why he gave Epstein the plea deal and the account he has given raises doubts about whether he is legally sane, and whether he was bribed to cut the Epstein deal.
But I digress. Here’s how the feds and congress can put Epstein away for the rest of his life, and also bring some of his accomplices, including politically powerful people, to justice.
Step 1: There is a Cuban-American bookkeeper, who I spent ages trying to find without success as sources would not or could not provide me her name, who kept the books for a modeling agency that Epstein used to procure young women, from as far away as Brazil. A private investigator who worked for one of the victims’ attorneys told me the bookkeeper knows all of Epstein’s secrets, and that she kept two sets of books, one for his legal activities and another for his illegal activities, like sex trafficking.
Step Two: Interview Juan Alessi, a former maintenance worker and majordomo at Epstein’s Palm Beach estate. I’ve read his prior court depositions and he is a fount of information. In 2016, I cold called at his home in West Palm Beach and no one answered the door, though I believe he was inside. (A car whose license plate I subsequently traced to him was in the driveway and there were other signs the house was occupied.) Numerous calls to the house were not answered.
In a 2009 deposition, Alessi said he wasn’t a “good judge of age” but he was sure that many of the young women who came to Epstein’s estate were minors, probably as young as fourteen but he didn’t know for sure because he was specifically told by Epstein not to check check IDs.
“Did you ever get a massage while you were working for Mr. Epstein?,” Alessi was asked during his deposition.
“I wasn’t that lucky,” he replied.
When Alessi left Epstein’s employ, he received a generous separation agreement gave him $30,000 and his wife $20,000. The agreement contained a strict confidentiality clause and barred him from suing Epstein in the future.
Step Three: Interview Jean Luc Brunel, a former friend of Trump’s who once lived at Trump Tower. But that’s just a teaser. The real reason to interview Brunel is that various attorneys for the victims told me he was deeply implicated in Epstein’s sex trafficking network. “Brunel didn’t show for his deposition,” one of the victims’ attorneys told me. “We subpoenaed him, accommodated him, and at the very end, right before he’s supposed to be deposed, his attorney calls me and says he’s flying out of the United States and is never going to return.”
But he did return. In 2016, I discovered that Bruel was back in the U.S., running a modeling agency in Manhattan called “Pink.” I left several messages for him but he never returned the calls.
Fourth, put labor secretary Alexander Acosta in a dark room and don’t let him out until he explains what he knows and why he cut the deal. One of the victims’ lawyers told me:
The feds cut a strange deal with Epstein. I was being very aggressive, I had a lot of cases and things were moving forward and then all of a sudden the U.S. attorney made a deal with Epstein. He won’t prosecute federally and he’ll plead guilty in the Florida case. Not only do they not prosecute federally but they agree in an addendum that they’ll name a lawyer to represent all of the girls in civil cases and they’ll each get a pathetic amount, $100,000 or $150,000 each, and Epstein will pay for their attorney.
That addendum was added by Epstein and Epstein got to approve of the lawyer they picked to represent the girls. It’s a total conflict; the criminal is paying for the lawyers and the lawyers are beholden to the criminal. The girls had to waive their future rights and release Epstein from responsibility. They agree not to make a stink about the plea deal. And the feds also agree not to prosecute any of the girls who procured girls for Epstein.
Fifth, focus on Epstein’s Zorro Ranch near Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he reportedly kept sex slaves. Here’s an aerial image of the ranch. As Ron Leighton, who provided me with this image noted, it’s extremely isolated and the facilities there are clearly quite elaborate. That means, in my view, that it’s likely to have been a key part of Epstein’s sex trafficking network.
Furthermore, various victims have testified that they were abused by Epstein and his pals at Zorro. Finally, Epstein’s private 194-page phone book, which I discussed in yesterday’s story, contained the names of hundreds of celebrities, politicians and oligarchs, among them Alfonos Fanjul, the sugar baron and major political donor who Bill Clinton fielded a call from when Monica Lewinsky was performing fellatio on him in the Oval Office.
Obviously, not everyone listed in the phone book had sex with young women provided by Epstein, but the book had a section called “Massage New Mexico.” The phone book also had the names of a lot of powerful New Mexicans, among them Bill Richardson, Bill Clinton’s former secretary of energy, and former state governor (and currently dead) Bruce King, who sold Epstein Zorro Ranch. King and Richardson’s names and phone numbers were in Epstein’s secret phone book, as were the names and phone numbers of Epstein’s New Mexico massage girls.
King’s son, former New Mexico attorney general Gary King, a Democrat, took more than $35,000 from Epstein in campaign donations after his felony conviction for pedophilia. Those donations, made during Gary King’s failed gubernatorial bid of 2007, came through Virgin Island-based companies controlled by Epstein. Obviously, the feds and congress need to have long talks with Richardson, King and Epstein’s New Mexican employees.
Footnote: The feature picture for this story was provided by my friend Peter Meyer, who attended The Dalton School in Manhattan. Epstein was a teacher there and the picture is from Peter’s high school yearbook. “Epstein taught math, hired by William Barr’s father, who was headmaster.,” he wrote me. “Clear case of Epstein-Barr syndrome.”