Contrary to media obsession with the salacious details, the federal lawsuit filed in Florida against the 2008 plea deal made between billionaire child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein & federal prosecutors is extremely important legally. It isn’t about outing Andrew Windsor or Alan Dershowitz as pedophiles & neither is criminally charged in the suit. Despite the latter’s narcissism, the suit isn’t all about him–even though he brokered the agreement for Epstein & is cited in the suit for raping minors.
Epstein was under FBI investigation for several accusations of sexual violence against children. To avoid prosecution for all of his crimes, he agreed to plead guilty to a state felony charge of soliciting an underage prostitute & in return federal prosecutors agreed not to bring charges against him for the rape & trafficking charges.
Why would federal prosecutors do that? Why would they turn their backs on the more serious crimes & ignore the allegations of victims? The Florida lawsuit provides insight by alleging Epstein procured children for some of the most powerful people in the world. The unidentified have an enormous stake in avoiding exposure as pedophiles. The plea deal wasn’t just about letting a billionaire walk away scot-free. If prosecuted rather than protected by his powerful clients, Epstein could have brought a lot of other people down with him. It’s certain Dershowitz made that perfectly clear to the prosecutors.
This is not the first lawsuit challenging the plea agreement. Two victims filed suit against the US government in 2008 claiming victims’ rights were violated with the refusal to prosecute. (It isn’t certain where that suit stands.) Legal experts can go back & forth about the procedures & laws involved. It might be injudicious to make accusations when your career is at stake. But when federal prosecutors did not consult with victims about the deal, it would suggest they were pulling a fast one–what is called a cover-up.
Both suits want a federal court to invalidate the plea agreement. It’s not certain how that will affect Epstein’s accusers but it will certainly advance victims’ rights in general. Following the suits through the maneuvers of the courts will require the services of a legal detective. When the salacious has exhausted itself, the reporting will disappear.
All of this would be so discouraging if one looked solely to the courts to end crimes of any kind against children. It will take a lot more action & involve a lot more people than that.