6 Things We Learned From the Unsealed Jeffrey Epstein Indictment
On Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed the indictment against financier Jeffrey Epstein, revealing the sexual abuse and trafficking case against him. Epstein was arrested on Saturday and appeared in court Monday.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the New York office of the FBI, and the commissioner of the NYPD announced that Epstein "was arrested Saturday and charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors."
The unsealed indictment revealed key aspects of the case against Epstein, potential charges against his unnamed employees, and allegations of a conspiracy that could ensnare the financier's vast network of powerful contacts.
Here are six key aspects of the indictment.
1. Three unnamed victims.
The indictment mentions three unnamed minor victims, referred to as "Minor Victim-1," "Minor Victim-2," and "Minor Victim-3." The girls were as young as 14 at the time, although the indictment does not specify their ages.
Epstein allegedly recruited and abused Minor Victim-1 in or about 2002 at his residence in New York, paying her hundreds of dollars for each encounter and paying her to recruit other girls for abuse. In or about 2004, Epstein directed an employee to call her for more encounters.
In or about 2004, Epstein allegedly recruited, abused, and paid Minor Victim-2 at his residence in Palm Beach, Fla. She also recruited other girls. In or about 2005, an employee called her back for more encounters.
In or about 2005, Epstein allegedly recruited, abused, and paid Minor Victim-3 at the Palm Beach residence. She also recruited other girls. In or about 2004 (a typo?), an employee called her back to schedule further encounters.
The U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York has encouraged more alleged victims to come forward.
2. Three unnamed employees.
The indictment also mentions three unnamed employees who allegedly scheduled the girls for sexual encounters.
Employee-1 allegedly called the first victim in 2004 to schedule another round of abuse. Employee-2 allegedly called the second victim in 2005 to schedule another round of abuse for her. Employee-2 also allegedly called the third victim, coordinating with Employee-3 to schedule the third girl's abuse.
3. The timing of the alleged crimes.
The counts against Epstein date from around 2002 to around 2005. This is around the time of the initial sexual case against Epstein, which began in 2005. In that case, Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to a single charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, housed in a private wing. He served 13 months before being released on probation. He was, however, required to register as a level-three sex offender, a lifelong designation.
Court documents allege that Epstein abused at least 40 underaged girls during this time period.
4. The alleged abuse.
According to the indictment, the abuse usually began with a victim being escorted to a room with a massage table. The girls, in various states of undress, would massage Epstein, who would then demand more explicit favors.
The favors are too graphic to lay out here, but interested readers can read the indictment here.
5. Paying victims to recruit.
According to the indictment, Epstein not only paid the girls for "massages" that involved sexual abuse, but also encouraged them to find more minor women for the same abuse. Each of the three girls mentioned in the indictment recruited more victims for Epstein.
"Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, and others known and unknown, willfully and knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other to commit an offense against the United States, to wit, sex trafficking of minors," the indictment reads.
In other words, Epstein will not likely remain the only defendant in the case. The indictment mentions three employees with whom he would have conspired, but the conspiracy charge also suggests that some figures in the financier's "little black book" may also find themselves facing federal charges.
That book includes entries for Donald Trump, Courtney Love, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, actor John Cleese, Alan Dershowitz, Alec Baldwin, Ralph Fiennes, Ted Kennedy, David Koch, and many more. His connections with Bill Clinton are well-known, and some have alleged that Clinton took part in some of the encounters.
Epstein's former house manager Alfredo Rodriguez tried to sell the black book in 2009, and he circled about 50 of the entries. It remains unclear what the circles mean.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.