Update: Accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she was a 15-year-old working at President Turmp’s Mar-a-Lago club when she was recruited to perform sex acts on Epstein, according to AP, testifying “My hopes were quickly dashed and my dreams were stolen.”
Sarah Ransome, who said Epstein pressured her into unwanted sex when she was in her early 20s, encouraged prosecutors in their efforts to bring others to justice, saying: “Finish what you started. … We are survivors and the pursuit of justice should not abate.” –AP
“Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused me for years,” according to accuser Courtney Wild, who told a US District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday that Epstein’s death – ruled a suicide – “robbed myself and all the other victims of our day in court.”
Wild called Epstein a “coward” during the hearing to formally dismiss the case against the dead pedophile.
“I feel very angry and sad and justice has never been served in this case,” she added.
US District Judge Richard Berman said that Epstein’s August 10 suicide was a “stunning turn of events,” and that accusers should be heard during today’s hearing “because of their relevant experiences.”
Up to 30 women were expected to address the court, along with prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers. Lawyer Brad Williams, who represents dozens of accusers, said that 15 women he represents will testify on Tuesday, while another 20 declined — “some out of fear of public exposure, others because the way in which this case ended will never bring full justice and they decided it was best for them not to talk today.”
Another accuser, who did not disclose her name, told Judge Richard Berman on Tuesday “It didn’t feel good to wake up that morning and hear he allegedly committed suicide.”
“I still feel like I’m learning the ways he’s impacted me,” that woman said.
A third woman, who also did not give her name, said ”“I think that many of us will never heal from what happened to us.”
“As destructive as that relationship was and as much of a villian as we’ve created him to be, based on facts, we’ve created him to be a villian, but he’s a complex villian.” –CNBC
According to the prosecutor, the dismissal against Epstein “in no way” hinders their investigation into other co-conspirators – or the prosecution of new defendants. Furthermore, the government may explore “the possibility of seeking civil forfeiture of any assets that would facilitate the crimes charged in this indictment.”
The prosecutor added that there are teams of FBI agents and other investigators probing Epstein’s death at the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), and that there is an active and ongoing grand jury investigation into what happened.
Of note, attorney David Boies – who represents Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre, said “Epstein did not act alone,” adding “He could not have done what he did, on such scope and scale, for as many years as he did, without a number of other key individuals. Those individuals need to bear their share of responsibility and have their reckoning as well.”
Epstein attorney Martin Weinberg noted that Judge Berman has the authority to go to the ninth floor of the MCC where Epstein was housed and witness how pretrial defendants are housed, according to Bloomberg legal reporter Chris Dolmetsch.
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