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Sex Trafficking Case Against Financier Jeffrey Epstein Formally Ends

The wealthy financier was found dead by suicide in his Manhattan prison cell before the trial began

What to Know

  • Federal judge formally signed motion to end the case against wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein
  • Judge Richard Berman formally signed the nolle prosequi motion to end the case, the sources said
  • Federal prosecutors had moved to end the case in light of his death and following this week’s hearing where 23 victims testified

The federal judge has formally signed the motion by federal prosecutors to end their case into the now deceased financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Judge Richard Berman formally signed the nolle prosequi motion to end the case, the sources said. 

Federal prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Richard Berman to end the case in light of his death and following this week’s hearing where 23 victims testified about what they say Epstein did to them. Berman has dismissed the indictment.

As federal prosecutors have previously stated in court, and U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman has emphasized, the investigation into any co-conspirators in Epstein’s sex trafficking has been on-going and will continue.

On Tuesday, nearly two dozen women who say they were sexually abused by Epstein poured out their anger, lashing out at him as a coward and a manipulator, after a judge gave them the day in court they were denied when the financier killed himself this month in his Manhattan prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

"Jeffrey Epstein robbed myself and all the other victims of our day in court to confront him one by one, and for that he is a coward," said Courtney Wild, who said she was sexually abused by Epstein at his Florida home for years starting when she was 14. Wild added that she is "angry and sad that justice has never been served in this case."

The hearing was convened by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who presided over the case after federal prosecutors had Epstein arrested last month.

The question before the judge was whether to throw out the indictment because of the defendant's death, a usually pro forma step undertaken without a hearing. But the judge offered Epstein's accusers an extraordinary opportunity to speak in court.

In total, the testimonies of 23 women were heard in court. Some were speaking publicly on the accusations for the first time. Twelve chose to be identified as Jane Does to remain anonymous.

They vented their fury over Epstein's alleged crimes and his suicide in his jail cell Aug. 10 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges involving dozens of teenage girls. Repeatedly, the women described themselves as survivors and said they hoped coming forward would help others.

Epstein was accused of sexually abusing women in the early 2000s and mansions in Manhattan and Florida. He had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges and was being held without bail in New York.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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