Just Plain Stupid

Do charges against Jeffrey Epstein signal ‘bigger targets’?

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One intriguing aspect of a new criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein is that the matter is assigned to the Public Corruption Unit of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office. As its name implies, that unit typically handles cases involving public officials. Epstein is instead the billionaire money manager who socializes with powerful people such as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.

On Monday, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) announced criminal charges against Epstein, alleging that he “sexually exploited and abused dozens of underage girls” between 2002 and 2005.

Epstein, 66, pleaded not guilty.

Significantly, the indictment covers conduct occurring not only at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion but also at his home in Palm Beach, Florida. The indictment alleges that Epstein worked with several employees and associates to entice girls as young as 14 to come to his homes to perform sex acts in exchange for money. He used some of the girls to recruit other minor victims by paying them, building a “vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit.” The indictment alleges that he targeted girls who were, “for various reasons, often particularly vulnerable to exploitation.”

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