Updated: February 6, 2023
- Sex offenderJeffrey Epsteinused his private Virgin Islands property as part of a vast sex-trafficking scheme that exploited girls as young as 12 years old, a new lawsuit alleged on Wednesday.
- The lawsuit was filed by the attorney general of the Virgin Islands against Epstein’s estate. The financier died by suicide in his New York jail cell in August as he awaited trial.
- The lawsuit alleged Epstein and his associates would find and recruit female victims – including children – and bring them to the Virgin Islands, where they endured countless abuses and were prevented from leaving.
- One particularly disturbing allegation described a 15-year-old victim who was “forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off the Little St. James island.”
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A new lawsuit filed against Jeffrey Epstein’s estate alleged that the sex offender lured girls and young women to his private Virgin Islands hideaway, where he and his associates coerced and forced them into sexual servitude in what prosecutors described as a “trafficking pyramid scheme.”
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George. It alleged that Epstein and his associates used his Little St. James property as part of a criminal conspiracy to find and recruit female victims – including children – and bring them to the Virgin Islands, where the girls endured countless abuses and were prevented from leaving.
Epstein and the associates “trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted, and held captive underage girls and young women at his properties in the Virgin Islands,” according to the lawsuit, which was first reported on by The New York Times.
The complaint filed Wednesday alleged that Epstein and his associates’ typical routine involved taking the girls and women to Little St. James via helicopter or private boat and then tricking them into sexual servitude and forced labor.
The lawsuit said Epstein and his associates lured the girls and women there by offering modeling opportunities, contracts, and even financial help with their education.
A lawyer representing Epstein’s estate told Insider in a statement that some of the allegations in the lawsuit were inaccurate – particularly allegations that the estate to this day engages in “a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein Enterprise.”
Daniel Weiner, the lawyer representing the estate, said in the statement there were no efforts to conceal any information or shield anyone from accountability.
“The Estate is being administered in accordance with the laws of the US Virgin Islands and under the supervision of the Superior Court of the US Virgin Islands,” Weiner’s statement said. He added that he would not comment any further on pending litigation.
The lawsuit says one girl tried to escape by swimming off the island
Foto: The island.sourceREUTERS/Marco Bello
Once there, the girls and women were unable to leave, as Little St. James can only be reached via private boat or helicopter, and it was “too far and dangerous” to swim to the nearby island of St. Thomas, according to the complaint.
The alleged cycle of abuse and exploitation occurred as recently as 2018, when air traffic controllers and other airport personnel reported seeing Epstein leave his plane with girls who appeared to be as young as 11 years old in tow.
One particularly disturbing allegation described a 15-year-old victim who was “forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off the Little St. James island.”
Another allegation involving a different victim alleged that she had first been recruited to give Epstein massages, then was eventually forced into sex acts. She, too, attempted to escape the island, but the lawsuit said Epstein and a search party found her and threatened to harm or physically restrain her if she refused to cooperate.
Epstein and others launched a search party and found her, the lawsuit said, holding her captive by confiscating her passport.
Epstein died by suicide in a jail cell in August 2019, while he was awaiting trial on criminal sex trafficking charges and had pleaded not guilty. In a previous case in 2008, he cut a cushy plea deal, pleading guiltyto two prostitution charges and spending just 12 months in a Florida county jail.
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- The video from outside Jeffrey Epstein’s cell during his first suicide attempt has been deleted, and prosecutors say the jail is to blame
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