Corruption Nick Bryant Original

The Jeffrey Epstein Cover Up: Pedophilia, Lies, and Ghislaine Maxwell

Numerous procurers and perpetrators integral to Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell’s crimes against children have not been indicted, and current officials are finding new ways to obfuscate the sordid truth.
July 30, 2008 photo of Jeffrey Epstein in court in West Palm Beach. He would plead guilty to a single charge of soliciting prostitution. (AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Uma Sanghvi)

By Nick Bryant / Original to ScheerPost

This piece originally appeared on ScheerPost on July 18, 2021.

“The worst form of injustice is pretended justice,” Plato wrote over two millennia ago. The preceding two decades have witnessed Lady Justice repeatedly eschewing her blindfold to dispense pretend justice to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell and also to their cohorts. Numerous procurers and perpetrators who were integral to Epstein and Maxwell’s crimes against children over the course of 25 years have not been indicted, and the charges against Maxwell, which include only one count of child trafficking, are woefully inadequate and a further miscarriage of justice against her victims.

More recently, a report released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) on May 10, 2021 superimposed an additional miscarriage of justice on the myriad of injustices that have already been inflicted on the victims of Epstein, et al. The FDLE report concluded that a Florida grand jury that didn’t indict Epstein on a single count of child abuse was not guilty of malfeasance. 

Although Epstein’s crimes against children had been reported to the FBI in 1996, the first law enforcement agency to earnestly investigate Epstein was the Palm Beach Police Department (PBPD), starting in 2005. The PBPD compiled the statements of five minors who had been molested by Epstein. The PBPD also rounded up the statements of several witnesses who corroborated the minors’ claims, and the department  was aware of 17 additional victims who had allegedly been molested by Epstein. The PBPD drew up an arrest warrant charging Epstein with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation and four counts of unwanted sexual activity with a minor. The PBPD also sought to charge two of Epstein’s henchwomen and procurers of underage girls: Sarah Kellen as a principal to Epstein’s offenses and Haley Robson with one count of lewd and lascivious conduct. But Palm Beach state attorney Barry Krischer swooped in and snatched the Epstein case from the PBPD. He opted to impanel a grand jury to investigate the child abuse allegations. (Grand juries in Florida are extremely rare unless the crime involves a capital offense.) 

Though the phrase “grand jury” has authoritative connotations — like the gods of jurisprudence have issued a decree — the grand jury process has the potential to be seriously flawed. A grand jury makes the initial decision to indict (formally accuse) a criminal defendant to stand trial. But unlike a standard trial, a grand jury proceeding is cloaked in secrecy: grand juries aren’t open to the public, and the identity of the witnesses who testify and the content of their testimony are never disclosed. The special prosecutor of a grand jury calls the witnesses, questions the witnesses, and selects the evidence that is shown to the grand jurors, and grand jurors are normal, everyday citizens who have shown up for jury duty and been funneled to a grand jury. 

Generally, only witnesses and evidence deemed relevant by special prosecutors are presented to grand jurors, so special prosecutors are in a unique position to manipulate grand jurors’ judgments. Indeed, commenting about the influence a special prosecutor has over grand jurors in 1985, Sol Wachtler, a former chief appellate judge of New York state, famously quipped that a special prosecutor could persuade grand jurors to “indict a ham sandwich.” 

Though the PBPD had the statements of five Epstein victims and was aware of many others, Krischer recalls calling only one of Epstein’s numerous victims to testify before the grand jury. Krischer had numerous victims who would’ve corroborated that victim, yet he opted not call them before the grand jury. In addition to Krishner, the grand jury was overseen by Assistant State Attorney Lanna Belohlavek, and it ultimately served the public a ham and swiss on rye, indicting Epstein on merely one count of soliciting (adult) prostitution, and Kellen and Robson were exonerated of their reported crimes. The prosecutors cited “conflicting” accounts by victims as a rationale for not indicting Epstein on a single count of child abuse. One the conflicting accounts was extremely disingenuous: the prosecutors asserted that one of the victims said that Epstein had deployed a purple vibrator when he abused her, but other victims had said that Epstein deployed a white vibrator during their abuse. Perhaps it never crossed the minds of Krischer and Belohlavek that Epstein used different vibrators when he molested his underage victims?

According to Joe Recarey, the lead PBPD detective on the Epstein case, Belohlavek wanted the charges against Epstein to “go away.” He said that she believed that the minors abused by Epstein weren’t victims, because they had accepted money from Epstein, even though the Florida statutes explicitly state that it is illegal for an adult to have sex with a minor who is under 18 years old. 

“I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.”

— Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida

The PBPD was outraged by the pretend justice orchestrated by Krischer and Belohlavek. The chief of the PBPD, Michael Reiter, characterized the grand jury proceedings as “the worst failure of the criminal justice system” in modern times, and he brought the evidence that was accumulated by PBPD to the feds. But the justice Reiter sought from federal law enforcement quickly became pretend justice. An August 19, 2019 Daily Beast article reported that the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta, who was responsible for overseeing Epstein’s adjudication, disclosed that he had been told to back down from the Epstein case: “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” Acosta said. 

Acosta and the Justice Department engineered a “sweetheart” deal for Epstein in 2008. After the Justice Department took over the case, Epstein was charged with one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor, even though the Justice Department had a list of 32 underage victims. He was sentenced to 18 months in the county jail, where he served 13 months. The assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting Epstein, Ann Marie Villafana, also colluded with an Epstein attorney to ensure that Epstein not only received this deal but a federal non-prosecution agreement that granted immunity to all of his co-conspirators, including procurers and perpetrators. 

The Crime Victims’ Rights Act mandates that the Justice Department notify Epstein’s victims that his case was being adjudicated, but the Justice Department contravened that law: Epstein’s victims were notified after his sentence and non-prosecution agreement had been finalized, so they were denied a dialogue with Epstein’s prosecutors and/or the opportunity to confront Epstein. In a further glaring injustice, the Justice Department attempted to ensure that the Epstein plea deal would remain forever secret by sealing it. 

Unfortunately, the Justice Department now appears to be in the midst of the final Epstein cover up by not indicting his network of procurers and perpetrators. In an August 29, 2019 article, The New York Times names six “alleged” procurers in Epstein’s pedophile network — Ghislaine Maxwell, Sarah Kellen, Leslie Groff, Adriana Ross, Nadia Marcinkova, and Haley Robson. The Times notes that Maxwell “has been accused in  several well publicized lawsuits regarding overseeing efforts to procure girls and young women…” The newspaper then quotes “two people with knowledge of the investigation”: “None of Mr. Epstein’s associates have been charged or named as co-conspirators in Manhattan. But federal authorities are eyeing possible charges that include sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy.” 

The New York Times provided the Justice Department with six individuals who were purportedly complicit in Epstein’s pedophilic crimes. But in the subsequent months, none of Epstein’s “alleged” procurers were indicted. Several of Epstein’s victims — including Maria Farmer, Annie Farmer, Virginia Guiffre, Jane Doe, Jane Doe 1000, Priscilla Doe, Jennifer Araoz, and Sarah Ransome — have accused 57-year-old British socialite Maxwell of being a pimp or perpetrator. Johanna Sjoberg, a college student Maxwell reportedly recruited for Epstein’s network, said Maxwell called the girls she recruited “slaves.” According to a source cited in an August. 12, 2019 Vanity Fair article by Victoria Grigoriadis, Maxwell had contempt for the girls who became Epstein’s victims: “When I asked what she thought of the underage girls, she looked at me and said, ‘they’re nothing, these girls. They are trash.’” In an August 9, 2019 Guardianarticle, Maxwell is portrayed as particularly vicious: 

A butler “witnessed, firsthand, a 15-year-old Swedish girl crying and shaking because [Maxwell] was attempting to force her to have sex with Epstein and she refused,” court documents filed by Giuffre’s lawyers claim. The girl allegedly said that Maxwell “tried to force her to have sex with Epstein through threats and stealing her passport.”

Shortly after Epstein’s apparent suicide the following day, August 10, 2019, U.S. Attorney General William Barr pledged that Epstein’s child trafficking co-conspirators “should not rest easy.” The Justice Department’s investigation ostensibly proceeded through September, October, and November without a peep about Maxwell; then, finally, “two law enforcement sources” told Reuters that the FBI was investigating Maxwell at the end of December. Reuters reported that the “probe remains at an early stage.” 

Though the Justice Department and FBI had law enforcement reports, reams of media reportage, and civil lawsuit documentation linking Maxwell to Epstein’s child trafficking enterprise, it seemed odd that the probe into Maxwell was at an early stage four-and-a-half months after Epstein’s death, considering the severity of her purported crimes. On Aug. 15, 2019, a week after Epstein’s death, an anonymous source sent The New York Post a picture of Maxwell partaking of a burger, fries, and shake at an In-N-Out Burger in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County. However, a Daily Mail August 19, 2019 article reported that she was holed up in a Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts mansion. A third account, published by Sky News on October 15, 2019, had her relaxing at a spa for the well-heeled in Santa Catarina, Brazil. On January 1, 2020, The New York Post’s “Page Six” proclaimed Maxwell is a spy who has been ducking the FBI at Israeli “safe houses.” In a February 28, 2020 article, Forbes published innuendo that she may have been barricaded in a Colorado “compound.” 

In this Aug. 27, 2019, photo, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, center, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court where sexual assault claimants invited by a judge addressed a hearing following Epstein’s jailhouse death in New York. Prince Andrew suffered fresh scrutiny Monday night, Dec. 2, when the woman who says she was a trafficking victim made to have sex with him when she was 17 asked the British public to support her quest for justice. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

By the end of January 2020, three additional women named Maxwell as a co-defendant in lawsuits filed against Epstein’s estate. Despite her shell-game whereabouts, Maxwell engaged a phalanx of high-priced attorneys. They had been mum on her  location, and attorneys representing Maxwell’s accusers had, as a last resort, sent emails with an attached summons to her only known email address. But a response from Maxwell wasn’t forthcoming. In Feb 2020,  a federal judge even took the unorthodox tack of allowing Maxwell to be served with a lawsuit via an email through her attorneys, to no avail.

On July 2, 2020, the feds finally arrested Maxwell in New Hampshire. She was ultimately indicted on six counts: conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury. Although Maxwell was arrested, her indictments were a travesty of justice and an insult to her victims. Her indictments carried a collective maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. But victims’ accounts report that Maxwell was a child trafficker, and she should have been indicted on multiple counts of child trafficking, each count carrying a 15-year to life sentence. At long last, in March of this year, Maxwell was also charged with child trafficking. But Epstein and Maxwell’s alleged cohorts, including Sarah Kellen, Leslie Groff, Adriana Ross, Nadia Marcinkova, Haley Robson, etc., haven’t been indicted. 

Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre has publicly denounced Maxwell as an Epstein perp and a pimp, and Maxwell launched a defamation lawsuit at her. Giuffre countered with a defamation lawsuit against Maxwell, because Maxwell declared that Giuffre was a liar. When the evidence against Maxwell became overwhelming, The Miami Herald reports that Maxwell compensated Giuffre “millions” of dollars to settle the lawsuit.  

Maxwell and her attorneys have also waged a war to ensure that the documentation in the Giuffre defamation lawsuit remains sealed. Giuffre’s attorneys and The Miami Herald sought to unseal that documentation, but U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet quashed their efforts. Giuffre’s attorneys and The Miami-Herald then appealed the judge’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Sweet’s ruling was overturned. Sweet passed away as his decision wended through the appellate process, and he was replaced by Judge Loretta A. Preska.

As Judge Preska oversaw the case, the appellate court ruled that the “judicial” documents generated by the defamation suit could be released to the public. Judge Preska inferred that judicial documents would be integral to a judge making a formal decision on the defamation lawsuit, and she sanctioned the release of about 2,000 previously sealed documents. The trove of previously unsealed documents were incendiary.

In the defamation lawsuit, Giuffre accused the following men of being among her perpetrators: Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, billionaire Glenn Dubin, former senator George Mitchell, scientist Marvin Minsky, and modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Les Wexner. The rich and powerful men named by Giuffre issued public denials, and that appeared to be the extent of their fates vis-à-vis federal law enforcement. The media has excelled at exhuming salacious dirt on Epstein–like his relationship with Bill Gates–but it does not seem to be particularly interested in investigating Giuffre’s latter round of accusations or ensuring that the procurers and perps in the Epstein case are brought to justice. 

The men named by Giuffre as her perpetrators appear in Epstein’s “Black Book,” which is a Who’s Who of the Davos elite. I acquired the Black Book in 2012 and eventually shepherded it onto the Internet in 2015. But the prime mover of the Black Book surfacing was Alfredo Rodriquez, a former Epstein house manager. He purloined a copy of Epstein’s contacts, their addresses, and phone numbers before leaving Epstein’s employ in 2005. The Black Book also contains the names of numerous victims.

In 2009, Rodriquez’s grand plan was to hawk the Black Book to an attorney representing some of Epstein’s victims in civil lawsuits—his fee was $50,000. The attorney in question reported Rodriquez’s hijinks to the FBI, which snared Rodriquez and the Black Book in a sting. The FBI had previously interviewed Rodriquez, but he had said nary a word about the Black Book, so he was charged with federal obstruction of justice. Rodriguez received an 18-month sentence for that offense, the same sentence received by his former employer. Rodriguez, however, had to serve his sentence in a federal prison instead of a county jail. 

The assistant US attorney prosecuting Rodriguez was Ann Marie Villafana, and she did not veer from Justice Department’s pattern of disingenuousness. Villafana told the judge in Rodriguez’s case that his failure to yield the Black Book was a lost opportunity for the government’s Epstein investigation. But she neglected to mention that the Justice Department didn’t even need the Black Book to prosecute Epstein for pedophilic offenses, because it already possessed a list of 32 Epstein victims

After the FBI busted Rodriguez attempting to peddle the black book, one of the arresting agents stated in an affidavit that the Black Book had the “names and contact information of material witnesses…” Rodriguez had also circled several names in the Black Book, but the FBI affidavit does not delineate if the circled names are material witnesses. The circled names, however,  include that of Ghislaine Maxwell and that of Sarah Kellen, two of Epstein’s purported pimps

Rodriguez also circled the name of Alan Dershowitz, for whom Epstein had 11 phone numbers. In January of 2015, Giuffre named the former Harvard Law School professor and super-star lawyer as a perpetrator in an affidavit filed by her attorneys Brad Edwards and former federal judge Paul Cassell. In the affidavit, Giuffre stated that she had sex with Dershowitz “at least six times.” Dershowitz then mounted a scorched earth counteroffensive against Giuffre and her two attorneys. He proclaimed Giuffre was a liar of the first magnitude. Dershowitz also declared that Giuffre’s attorneys were deliberately lying and vowed that he wouldn’t “stop until they’re disbarred.” Edwards and Cassell sued Dershowitz for defamation

In this Wednesday, March 6, 2019 photo, Attorney Alan Dershowitz leaves Manhattan Federal Court in New York. A judge said a lawsuit can proceed to trial that accuses Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz of lying about his sexual history with a woman who claims she was a teenage victim of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. But U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska also on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 granted Dershowitz’s request to disqualify the law firm representing the woman from the case. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

As Dershowitz was trading salvoes with Edwards and Cassell, he gave an interview to The American Lawyer in January of 2015, vindicating himself as a perpetrator: “I’ve been married to the same woman for 28 years,” he said. “She goes with me everywhere. People know that I won’t argue a case or give a speech unless my wife travels with me.” But Epstein’s flight logs show that Dershowitz accompanied Epstein on a December 1997 flight from Palm Beach to New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, and they were accompanied by one unidentified “female,” as well as a “Hazel,” a “Claire,” and Maxwell. A 2005 flight log shows Epstein and Dershowitz traveling from Massachusetts to Montreal with a “Tatianna,” et al. Dershowitz’s wife is noticeably absent on those flights and others. In the Gawker article I wrote about the flight logs, Dershowitz’s steal-trap mind became rather rusty:

As for who else was on those flights, Dershowitz couldn’t recall. Hazel? “I don’t know.” Claire? “I have no idea.” Tatianna? “I think that was a woman in her 20s who was Epstein’s girlfriend, but I never flew with her.” The unidentified female? “That could have been my mother.”

Dershowitz was the architect of Epstein’s 2008 plea bargain, and his strategy was to firebomb the credibility of Epstein’s victims. The New Yorker notes his vicious comments about Giuffre: “…he called her a ‘serial liar,’ a ‘prostitute,’ and a ‘bad mother,’ who could not be believed ‘against somebody with an unscathed reputation like me.’ He insisted that Giuffre had ‘made the whole thing up out of whole cloth,’ in search of ‘a big payday.” When a TV reporter in Miami questioned his characterization of Giuffre, a sex-abuse victim, as a ‘prostitute,’ Dershowitz replied, ‘She made her own decisions in life.’” 

In 2018, a second woman, Sarah Ransome, who settled a civil lawsuit with Epstein and Maxwell, said that Epstein directed her to have sex with Dershowitz. Dershowitz skewered her as a “lunatic” and excoriated her ill-fated interactions with the New York Post. In 2016, Ransome told The Post that she had sex tapes of sundry powerbrokers, including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, but she never produced them. She later divulged to The New Yorker that she had concocted the story on the tapes to focus public attention on Epstein’s illicit activities and also to provide a deterrent against retribution by him. In an April 2019 affidavit, Maria Farmer stated that she was sexually assaulted by Epstein and Maxwell. She also stated that it was status quo for underage girls to be ushered to an upstairs bedroom to be interviewed for “modeling” positions and for Dershowitz to “head upstairs where the girls were present.”

She made her own decisions in life.” 

— Alan Dershowitz, attorney, after calling Virginia Giuffre a prostitute. Giuffre says she was recruited by Ghislane Maxwell to be Jeffrey Epstein’s masseuse when she was just 15, while she was working as a locker room attendant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club .

Dershowitz’s zealous stand is ether that of a good man preserving his reputation or that of the vile professor who doth protest too much. The lawsuit in which Dershowitz vowed to have Edwards and Cassell disbarred ended in a stalemate. Edwards and Cassell issued a statement declaring that they continued to believe Giuffre but that naming Dershowitz “became a major distraction from the merits of the well-founded Crime Victims’ Rights Act case.” While Dershowitz’s vow of banishing Edwards and Cassell from the legal profession came to naught, he did express his views on adults having sex with adolescents in a Los Angeles Times op-ed: He proposed that the age of consent should be 15 years old, regardless of the partner’s age.

Epstein house manager Rodriguez did not circle Prince Andrew’s name. But Epstein had 16 phone numbers for him, and Giuffre named him as a pedophilic perpetrator in her 2015 affidavit. The prince has categorically denied Giuffre’s allegations and stated he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her. In her 2015 affidavit, Giuffre swore she had sex with Prince Andrew three times and that one instance involved an orgy. 

Her affidavit included the now infamous photograph of a smiling Prince Andrew with his arm around her waist and a smiling Maxwell in the background. Prince Andrew claimed to have no recollection of the photograph. The BBC quoted the prince discussing the photograph. “Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken,” he said, adding that “hug[s] and public displays of affection are not something that I do.”

Like Dershowitz, Prince Andrew has attempted to disavow his friendship with Epstein. He declared that he and Epstein were “not that close,” yet The Guardian reports that “the pair attended several private dinners, parties and fundraisers together, including a birthday party the prince threw for Maxwell at Sandringham House, the private residence of the Queen…” Andrew also flew on Epstein’s private plane at least four times.

Feb. 12, 2012: Alicia Arden arrives on the red carpet at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Arden, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s first known accusers, says police didn’t take her complaint seriously in 1997 and blew the chance to bring the financier to justice long before he was charged with sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls and women. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

In 2001, Andrew and Epstein were pictured on a yacht off the coast of Thailand surrounded by topless young women; Epstein reportedly footed the bill for the prince’s Thai retreat. In 2006, Epstein made an appearance at Windsor Castle for the 18th birthday party of Andrew’s daughter, Princess Beatrice. Epstein attended the party afterthe Palm Beach Police Department executed a search warrant on his Florida home and sought to charge him with four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and lewd and lascivious molestation. 

Rodriguez also circled the name of Jean-Luc Brunel in Epstein’s Black Book, and Epstein had 16 phone numbers for him. Brunel was the third perpetrator Giuffre named in her 2015 affidavit. Epstein financed Brunel’s Miami-based modeling agency MC2, and Brunel was a frequent flyer on the Lolita Express. Palm Beach County jail logs also show that he visited Epstein 67 times when Epstein was ostensibly confined to the county jail for 13 months. The Daily Beast reported that Brunel, like Epstein, was an ethical eunuch: He has been “accused by former models of drugging and date-raping them, and by former employees of recruiting foreign, underage girls to be pimped out of Epstein’s New York apartments.”

Rodriguez circled the names of Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor and also President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Energy, and billionaire Glenn Dubin. Epstein had five phone numbers for Richardson and eight for Dubin. Giuffre named both Richardson and Dubin as perpetrators. 

Richardson was a visitor to Zorro Ranch, Epstein’s spread in the rolling hills outside of Santa Fe, where Epstein reportedly had underage girls delivered. Epstein also contributed $100,000 to Richard’s gubernatorial campaigns. When Richardson was governor, Epstein did not have to register as a sex offender in New Mexico, which breached federal law. 

Hedge fund billionaire Glen Dubin had a protracted friendship with Epstein, and his model-turned-medical-doctor wife, Eva Andersson (Dubin), had once dated Epstein. In fact, Rodriguez circled Andersson’s name in the Black Book, too. After Epstein served his 13 months in the pokey, Glenn and Eva Dubin invited him to their home for Thanksgiving in 2009. Prior to that Thanksgiving, Andersson wrote an email to Epstein’s probation officer, stating that she and her husband were “100% comfortable” with Epstein being around their children, including their then-teenage daughter. 

Rodriguez also circled the names of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and L Brands potentate and billionaire Les Wexner. Barak and Wexner were also named by Giuffre as perpetrators. Barak frequently lodged at an Upper East Side apartment building owned by Epstein’s brother, and he even visited Epstein’s private Caribbean island—”Orgy Island.” In 2004, Barak received about $2.4 million from a foundation where Epstein was a trustee and major donor. And in 2015, Epstein reportedly invested $1 million in a technology start-up that Barak was launching.

Epstein and Wexner have a rather enigmatic relationship. In 1985, The Evening Standard reports, the talented Mr. Epstein started to orbit Wexner. Epstein then became an increasingly ubiquitous force in Wexner’s corporate concerns. By 1991, Wexner conferred Epstein with power of attorney over his vast empire, essentially giving Epstein the keys to his kingdom. Wexner’s friends and colleagues were perplexed by their mysterious relationship. 

 After Epstein’s arrest on July 6, Wexner wrote a letter to L Brand employees vowing that he was “NEVER aware of the illegal activity” charged in Epstein’s latest indictment. In early 2006, however, Palm Beach police charged Epstein with multiple counts of child molestation, but it took Wexner 18 months after the fact to ostensibly sever his connection to Epstein. 

Despite their purported 2007 rupture, one of Wexner’s charitable foundations received a $56 million infusion from a trust linked to Epstein in 2011. Also in 2011, the deed to Epstein’s Manhattan mansion was transferred from a Wexner-owned concern to an Epstein company based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wexner, too, claims that he discovered Epstein embezzled “vast sums” of money from him in 2007, but he never notified authorities.

Epstein had 11 contact numbers for Donald Trump in his Black Book, and Rodriguez circled Trump’s name. Though Bill Clinton’s name isn’t circled in the Black Book, Epstein had 21 contact numbers for him. Giuffre didn’t name either Trump or Clinton as a perpetrator, but Maxwell told a 60 Minutes producer that Epstein had “had tapes of Trump and Clinton.”

Giuffre named former Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and Marvin Minsky, a deceased Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and artificial intelligence pioneer, as her perpetrators. Although the names of Mitchell and Minsky are not circled in the Black Book, Epstein had 13 phone numbers for Mitchell and five numbers for Minsky. 

In addition to collecting powerbrokers, Epstein had a penchant for clandestine cameras. When the Palm Beach police executed a warrant on Epstein’s home in 2006, they found hidden cameras. An Epstein victim, Maria Farmer, told CBS News that the bathrooms and bedrooms in Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion were wired for extensive surveillance by “tiny pinhole cameras.” Farmer said that Epstein even ushered her to the “media room”: “And so, there was a door that looked like an invisible door with all this limestone and everything,” she said. “And you push it, and you go in. And I saw, all the cameras, it was, like, old televisions basically, like, stacked.” In that interview, Farmer said that “men” sat before the monitors. 

In the Vanity Fair article noting  Maxwell’s statement that the underage girls being molested were merely “trash,” she reportedly said that Epstein’s Orgy Island was equipped for extensive surveillance: “Maxwell also said the island had been completely wired for video; the friend thought that she and Epstein were videotaping everyone on the island as an insurance policy, as blackmail.” In the same article, Vanity Fair gleaned an Epstein quote via a former “girlfriend”: “… I collect people, I own people, I can damage people.” Epstein himself boasted to a New York Times reporter that he had “dirt” on the powerful. 

In the wake of Epstein’s arrest, the New York Times reports on the evidence federal authorities seized from searching Epstein’s house: “It included hundreds — possibly thousands — of sexually suggestive photographs of girls who appear underage, as well as hand-labeled compact discs with titles like ‘Girl pics nude,’ and, with the names redacted, ‘Young [Name] + [Name].’” 

Epstein appears to have been a blackmail artist, but his marks would never voice that inconvenient truth. Blackmail marks, especially politicians and power brokers, have zero incentive to turn to the authorities if the blackmailer has pictures of their illicit, highly aberrant, or extramarital sexual conduct. Those pictures, released to the public, would doom their careers, probably destroy their families, and reduce their lives to public ignominy.

Epstein, however, as a lone college dropout from Coney Island, could not have blackmailed powerbrokers with impunity. Such men can have access to ruffians, murderers, and even organized crime. Les Wexner is an example of an alleged perpetrator who has had purported ties to organized crime. Wexner is a denizen of Ohio, and his L Brands is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. A 1991 report from the Columbus Division of Police (CDV) implicates Wexner in a 1985 murder and also discusses his possible affiliation with the organized crime. The report focuses on the execution style murder of Columbus attorney Arthur Shapiro whose law firm represented Wexner’s clothing empire. Shapiro took two bullets to the back of the head in broad daylight, and the CDV report notes that his murder had the distinct signature of “Mafia” hit. The CDV report that fingers Columbus’ most lionized citizen in a Mafia hit was ordered to be destroyed by CDV Chief James Jackson, who would be reprimanded for ordering the report’s destruction.

The CDV report describes Walsh Trucking Company, owned by Frank Walsh, as a “major trucking company for The Limited.” The CDV report also notes Walsh’s connection to the Mafia. A 1987 Women’s Wear Daily article states that “Walsh had done in excess of 90 percent of Limited’s business,” accounting for $73,600,000. And a 1996 article from Bergen County’s The Record chronicles Walsh’s guilty plea for bribing Teamster officials and mail fraud and that “federal prosecutors” had concluded Walsh was an appendage to the “Genovese” crime family. 

Wexner had known sociopathic pedophile Epstein for approximately six years when he handed Epstein the keys to his kingdom. As I mentioned, the mysterious relationship between Wexner and Epstein befuddled his friends and colleagues. In August of 2019, Vanity Fair published an apologetic on behalf of Wexner, “‘HE PICKS THE WRONG FRIEND, THEN THERE’S ALL HELL TO PAY’: HOW JEFFREY EPSTEIN GOT HIS HOOKS INTO LES WEXNER,” which sought to explain the bizarre  relationship between Wexner and Epstein. The Vanity Fair article was mind-boggling in either its seismic naivete or disingenuousness: The article determined that Wexner’s “loneliness” made him susceptible to being bamboozled by conman Epstein. But according to Virginia Giuffre and Alfredo Rodriguez, their relationship had far more sinister undertones. Although Wexner claims that Epstein embezzled “vast sums” of money from him, he never notified authorities about Epstein’s grift. If loneliness drove Wexner to befriend Epstein, then common sense almost certainly dictates that Wexner would request law enforcement intervention to retrieve the “vast sums” purloined by Epstein. But if their relationship was rooted in the claims of Giuffre and Rodriguez, then Wexner’s actions, or lack thereof, would be understandable.

Child abuse is among the most heinous of crimes, but state and federal checks and balances that safeguard children from predators have been mutilated in the Epstein case for at least 25 years—from when the Farmer sisters initially approached the FBI in 1996 until the May of this year when the FDLE exonerated Florida law enforcement of malfeasance in the Epstein case. The ultimate question that needs to be asked and answered is why have state and federal authorities protected Epstein and his pack of child molesters for years? Blackmail may be one of the answers, and the evidence implicating Epstein as a blackmail artist is significant:

  • Epstein’s confession to a New York Times reporter about the “dirt” he collected on the rich and powerful.
  • Maxwell telling a friend that Epstein was a blackmail artist, and his Orgy Island was wired for audiovisual blackmail.
  • Maxwell divulging to a 60 Minutes producer that Epstein had tape of both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
  • The Palm Beach Police Department found clandestine cameras when it executed a search warrant on Epstein’s Palm Beach home.
  • Maria Farmer telling CBS that the bedrooms and bathrooms of Epstein’s New York mansion were wired for audiovisual surveillance, and men, as in plural, were in a secret room overseeing various monitors. 
  • The trove of compact discs seized at Epstein’s home with titles like “Young [Name] + [Name].” (Epstein’s cache of DVDs seem to have fallen into a blackhole.) 

But the most damning evidence of Epstein working for a larger, clandestine network is the abrogation of justice that he left in his wake over the decades. Who or what has the power to order an U.S. attorney to stand down, especially when the Justice Department has a list of 32 underage victims? According to former U.S. Attorney Acosta, “intelligence” has that power. Who or what has the power to make the Justice Department subvert the Crime Victims’ Rights Act? Who or what has the power to make the FBI stand down into an investigation involving child sexual abuse? Who or what has the power to protect Epstein’s powerful pedophilic perps over the course of three administrations—those of George W. Bush, Barak Obama, and Donald Trump? The puppeteer or puppeteers in the Epstein case apparently transcend the institutions of government and also political affiliations.      

In the Epstein case, child sex trafficking has been proven, and the victims have named procurers and perps. The Justice Department’s Southern District of New York was able to circumvent Epstein’s egregious non-prosecution agreement on two criteria. First, the Southern District of New York wasn’t bound by an agreement that was made in the Southern District of Florida. Second, Congress eliminated the statute of limitations on cases of child sex trafficking in 2006, and since the prior 5-year statute of limitations hadn’t expired on Epstein’s child trafficking crimes, he could be charged with child trafficking dating back to 2002. So, every procurer and perpetrator in the Epstein network who has been guilty of child trafficking since 2002 should be charged with child trafficking.

As a society, we must bring the Epstein procurers and perpetrators to justice. We cannot let children be molested with impunity. If the Justice Department is indifferent to victims in a proven trafficking case, then there is little hope for the vast majority of victims. If the perpetrators in the Epstein case are allowed to go scot free, then all perpetrators are empowered. Moreover, the media has expended profuse ink publishing articles that report on the salacious dirt involved in the Epstein case, but I’m not aware of a single article calling for the arrest and indictment of the perpetrators in Epstein’s pedophile network. The mainstream media has also sown a narrative that the girls molested by Epstein and his cohorts were at least 14 years old, but accounts have been published that Epstein trafficked girls as young as 11 or 12 years old

As I look at the devastation sown by child sexual abuse and its cover up — whether it be by churches, the Boy Scouts, schools, the government, etc. — I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Are there enough good people in the media, the government, and the nation to ensure that evil doesn’t triumph in the Epstein case by holding the procurers and perpetrators accountable? 

Nick Bryant
Nick Bryant

Nick Bryant is an author who resides in New York City, and he’s been a child advocate for 30 years. His writing has recurrently focused on the plight of disadvantaged children in the United States, and he’s been published in numerous national journals, including the Journal of Professional Ethics, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Journal of Social Distress and Homelessness, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, and Journal of School Health. He is the co-author of America’s Children: Triumph or Tragedy, addressing the medical and developmental problems of lower socioeconomic children in America. He spent seven years investigating a coast-to-coast child trafficking network and authored The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse, & Betrayal. He has also investigated the Jeffrey Epstein network, and he published Epstein’s “Little Black Book” on the Internet in 2015, four years before the case broke nationally. Bryant has contributed a chapter on child trafficking to Global Perspectives on Dissociative Disorders: Individual and Societal Oppression, a book addressing various facets of dissociative disorders that features chapters from an international panel of psychiatrists and psychologists. He has also spoken about child trafficking at several conferences, including the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation’s international convention and the 2020 and 2021 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summits. 

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