Court ends investigation on Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking case

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. Epstein is connected with several prominent people including politicians, actors and academics. Epstein was convicted of having sex with an underaged woman. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images)
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A Manhattan federal judge formally closed the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein Thursday following the pedophile financier’s suicide.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman signed his initials to a boilerplate order dismissing the July 2 indictment accusing Epstein of sexually abusing dozens of girls at his New York City and Florida homes for at least three years.

The judge added a small tribute to Epstein’s numerous alleged victims by referencing the transcript of a Tuesday hearing where more than a dozen of them reportedly gave furious, emotional testimony.

Berman also wrote that he “underscores the significance of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act,” a 2004 federal law giving victims the right to be heard at court proceedings on plea agreements or sentencing.

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The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, which was prosecuting Epstein, declined to comment on Berman’s order. One of Epstein’s attorneys, Reid Weingarten, did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Epstein had faced allegations for years that he preyed on girls and young women as he rubbed shoulders with powerful people such as President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and the retail magnate Leslie Wexner.

Before he died by suicide Aug. 10 at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, prosecutors accused him of luring girls as young as 14 to his Upper East Side and Palm Beach, Florida mansions and sexually abusing them from at least 2002 to 2005.

Federal prosecutors in Florida had agreed not to go after Epstein when he pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges there in 2008, a deal that has been criticized for its leniency.

Federal authorities have vowed that they would continue investigating Epstein’s co-conspirators in the wake of Epstein’s death. Prosecutors are now focusing on more than half a dozen of his employees, associates and girlfriends involved in his predatory ring, The New York Times reported Thursday.

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