A federal appeals court has denied the appeal of an alleged underage sexual abuse victim of deceased Jeffrey Epstein’s to revive a lawsuit that claims Florida federal prosecutors failed to consult victims when they reached a secret plea deal with Epstein over a decade ago.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the alleged victim’s appeal had to be rejected because no federal charges were filed in Florida against the wealthy financier. Epstein was previously charged of similar crimes in a federal court in New York and died soon after of an apparent suicide in jail at age 66. The panel expressed sympathy for alleged victims such as Ms. Wild but determined that the law reject her appeal.
In his 2-1 opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Kevin Newsome wrote, “Despite our sympathy for Ms.Wild and others like her, who suffered unspeakable horror at Epstein’s hands, only to be left in the dark- and, so it seems, affirmatively misled- by government lawyers, we find ourselves constrained to deny her petition.” He went on to add, “It’s not a result we like, but it’s the result we think the law requires.”
In an emailed statement, the victim expressed her dismay and disbelief when she said, “- the government intentionally misled victims but found a way to get away with it by working with a child molester to get around the law. And the Judges ruled in their favor. How?”
One of the lawyers for the victim indicated that they will ask the full 11th Circuit to rehear the case because they strongly disagree with the ruling. He went on to say that it, “Leaves victims like Ms. Wild without any remedy, even for victims like her who have been ‘affirmatively misled’ by federal prosecutors.”
The the secret plea deal comes from a 2008 lawsuit in Palm Beach County, Florida. It was during this time that Epstein negotiated a sacred plea deal that spared him serious federal charges and allowed him to plead guilty to lesser state prostituion-related charges. For this, he spent 13 months in jail but was allowed to go to his office almost daily, paid financial settlements to victims and had to register as a sex offender.
Court documents show that Epstein had a mansion in Palm Beach where he had at least 40 underage girls brought for what turned into sexual encounters. He owned other homes where alleged assaults also occurred.
In a dissent, U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Hull wrote, “This case is about how the U.S. prosecutors fell short on Epstein’s evil crimes,” and that, “Our criminal justice system should safeguard children from sexual exploitation by criminal predators, not re-victimize them.”