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Unsealing of Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse documents concludes

Overall, the documents released since last week have added few details to what was already known about Epstein's heinous crimes against minors.
Unsealing of Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse documents concludes
Posted at 7:19 AM, Jan 10, 2024

A final round of legal documents released Tuesday in a court case related to Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of teenage girls was made up of testimony transcripts that were already largely public and dealt with allegations about misconduct by several rich and influential men whose names have been known for a decade or more.

The unsealed files included a 2016 deposition of Virginia Giuffre, a woman who said Epstein sexually abused her and arranged for her to have sexual encounters with men including Britain's Prince Andrew starting when she was 17.

It also included a transcript of testimony by Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend, who insisted that Giuffre was a liar. There was also a deposition from Epstein himself, who refused to answer questions citing his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.

Those depositions had already been made public, though with some sentences or names blacked out.

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Overall, the documents released since last week have added few details to what was already known about Epstein's crimes. They did not contain the explosive revelations or new identities of abusers that some had predicted.

Epstein, a millionaire money manager, surrounded himself with celebrities, leading academics and big names from the fashion and political worlds before he was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2006 and accused of paying underage girls for sex.

He served 13 months in a jail work release program. Outrage over his plea bargain, sparked by reporting in the Miami Herald, led federal prosecutors in New York to bring new sex trafficking charges against Epstein in 2019, and he killed himself in a federal jail cell while awaiting trial.

Prosecutors also brought charges against Maxwell, who is now serving a 20-year prison term for helping Epstein sexually abuse underage girls.

Dozens of women say Epstein sexually abused them at his homes in New York, Florida, the Virgin Islands and New Mexico.

The documents released this month relate to a 2015 defamation lawsuit that Giuffre filed against Maxwell and was settled in 2017. Most of the court file has been public for years, but public interest in the documents soared after a judge ordered that some sealed sections be fully released.

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Much of the lawsuit revolved around the truthfulness of Giuffre's claims that Epstein had flown her around the world for sexual encounters with billionaires, politicians, royals and heads of state.

She initially kept the names of those men secret, but in a 2014 legal filing, she said her abusers included Prince Andrew, other royal figures whose names she didn't know, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the head of a hotel chain, noted academics, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, French modeling scout Jean Luc Brunel, billionaire Glenn Dubin and law professor Alan Dershowitz, who had represented Epstein.

All of the men named by Giuffre denied her allegations.

Giuffre withdrew her claims about Dershowitz in 2022, saying she “may have made a mistake” in identifying him as an abuser. She said she “was very young at the time” and “it was a very stressful and traumatic environment.” Dershowitz campaigned to get documents related to Giuffre's lawsuit unsealed, arguing that they would make his innocence more clear.

Giuffre settled a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in 2022.

Brunel, who was close to Epstein, killed himself in a Paris jail in 2022 while awaiting trial on charges that he raped underage girls.

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