Hold on to your gag reflexes, feminists, because this is going to make you want to barf: Another privileged, wealthy, white male is walking free after being brought up on charges of heinous sexual crimes against underage women. Yep, it's not just Polanski—now billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein is a free man after serving just one year of bogus house arrest.
Epstein's alleged crimes, which are described in detail in this excellent reported piece by Conchita Sarnoff for the Daily Beast include molesting underage girls from South America, Europe, and the former Soviet republics, even "importing" three 12-year-old girls from France as a birthday gift. Allegedly he invited young girls to his apartment for daily "massages," (the quotation marks mean boners were involved) going so far as to pay a local 14-year old girl to act as an intermediary and lure other girls on his behalf. The victims also "alleged trips out of state and abroad on Epstein's private jets, which would be evidence of sex trafficking—a much more serious federal crime than the state charges Epstein was convicted of."
According to Sarnoff's report, there was at one point a 53-page indictment charging Epstein with crimes that would have put him in jail for a minimum of 20 years and required him to register as a sex offender. However, this f*ing billionaire spent just one year under "house arrest" in a Palm Beach mansion (he was still allowed to visit his office in New York and his home in the Carribean, so when exactly did the "arrest" part occur?) and is now free to be (a pedophile) to you and me. Hmm... Do you think his BILLIONS OF DOLLARS and SUPER-PRIVILEGED STATUS had anything to do with that?
Again from Sarnoff's report:
But the question remains: Did Epstein's wealth and social connections—former President Bill Clinton; Prince Andrew; former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers were just a few of the prominent passengers on his private jets—allow him to receive only a slap on the wrist for crimes that carry a mandatory 20-year sentence? Was he able, with his limitless assets and heavy-hitting lawyers—Alan Dershowitz, Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, Kenneth Starr, Guy Lewis, and Martin Weinberger among them—to escape equal justice?
Michael Reiter, the former Palm Beach police chief, certainly thinks so. He gave The Daily Beast exclusive access to the transcript of his nine-hour deposition for the victims' civil suits, in which he explained how the case against Epstein was minimized by the State Attorney's Office, then bargained down by the U.S. Department of Justice, all in an atmosphere of hardball legal tactics and social pressures so intense that Reiter became estranged from several colleagues. At the time, Reiter, who retired in 2009 and now runs his own security firm, objected both to Epstein's plea agreement and to the flexible terms of his incarceration in the county jail rather than state prison. Asked during the deposition whether he thought Epstein received special treatment, he answered "yes."
UGH. Once again, it appears that an obscene amount of wealth and privilege have amounted to a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for a grade-A douchebag. Epstein's many victims will not see justice—though they were subjected to a gigantic dose of slut-shaming at the hands of Epstein's lawyers, who combed their Facebook and MySpace pages looking for evidence to discredit them.
The outcome of Jeffrey Epstein's case is a tragedy for his victims and for anyone who cares about justice in cases of sexual assault (or in cases where the accused happens to be an effing billionaire). I wish we could throw the book at him ourselves, but all we've got to throw is this Douchebag Decree. Maybe he can hang it on the wall in his fucking mansion.