August 11, 2019

‘We live with scars’: accusers demand Epstein’s death not derail investigations
Anger and regret after Epstein was found dead in jail by apparent suicide: ‘He will never face the consequences of his crimes’Alleged victims Annie Farmer and Courtney Wild look on as their lawyers speak to the press at federal court following a bail hearing for Jeffrey Epstein, on 15 July. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesVictims of an international sexual trafficking scheme allegedly operated by Jeffrey Epstein reacted to his death with expressions of outrage and regret, and demanded that investigations of the scheme not be derailed.Epstein, 66, who faced charges of sex trafficking and a related conspiracy charge, was found dead in jail in New York City on Saturday morning.“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court,” said Jennifer Araoz, who accused Epstein of raping her when she was 15. “We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people. Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served. I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims.”Eva Ford, mother of alleged Epstein victim Courtney Wild, questioned how Epstein, who had previously been placed on suicide watch, was not subject to special monitoring.“How does someone who is this high profile commit suicide?” Ford told the Miami Herald. “They had to have cameras on him! Someone must have been paid to look the other way.”Despite the participation of Donald Trump in spreading conspiracist claims about Epstein’s death, no evidence of foul play has emerged. Staff at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, New York, said Epstein’s body was found at 6:30am, and attorney general William Barr called Epstein’s death an “apparent suicide”.Alleged victim Michelle Licata, who met Epstein when she was 16 and a sophomore at Palm Beach High School in Florida, said she didn’t want anyone to die.“I just wanted him to be held accountable for his actions. Simple as that,” she said.Jena-Lisa Jones, 30, who said she was just 14 when she was introduced to Epstein and was paid $200 by him to give him a massage at his home, said he took “the easy way out”.Jack Scarola, an attorney representing several of Epstein’s alleged victims, said: “While I’m sure none of the victims regret his death, all of them regret the information that died with him. The one expectation is that Epstein’s death not derail the investigation into the named and unnamed co-conspirators who still need to be brought to justice.”Lawyer Brad Edwards, who has represented other Epstein accusers, said Epstein’s death had seen him avoid being held responsible.“While we engaged in contentious legal battles for more than a decade, this is not the ending anyone was looking for,” he said in a statement. “The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused.”The federal investigation into the allegations remains ongoing, said Geoffrey Berman, attorney for the Southern District of New York.He noted in a statement Saturday that the indictment against Epstein includes a conspiracy charge, suggesting others could face charges in the case.Others involved in the effort to bring Epstein to justice said his death would not end their efforts to secure financial damages.Sigrid McCawley, lawyer to Virginia Giuffre and other victims, said in a statement that Epstein’s suicide was “no coincidence”.“We are hopeful that the government will continue to investigate and will focus on those who participated and facilitated Epstein’s horrifying sex trafficking scheme that damaged so many. The victims await the true justice they have sought and deserve,” she said.Civil rights lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents several alleged victims, called for Epstein’s estate to be held for his accusers. She tweeted: “I am calling today for the administrators of Jeffrey Epstein’s estate to freeze all his assets and hold them for his victims who are filing civil cases. Their lives have been shattered by his sexual assaults, their careers derailed. They deserve full and fair compensation NOW.”On Friday, more than 2,000 pages of documents were unsealed from a 2015 defamation claim in the US by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell, settled in 2017. The records contain graphic allegations against Epstein, as well as the transcript of a 2016 deposition of Epstein in which he repeatedly refused to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself.The Associated Press contributed to this report
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