There’s a lot we’ll never know about Jeffrey Epstein.
The money manager, who was found dead on Saturday in an apparent suicide, was in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He was accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls, having them brought to his homes in New York and Florida for massages that sometimes turned into assault.
He was first indicted on sex crime charges in 2007, but a “non-prosecution agreement” enabled him to avoid prison time — and, some say, to offend again. But scrutiny into Epstein increased after Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald reported on details of the agreement last year, and Epstein was arrested on new charges in July and held in a New York jail.
Epstein’s trial was keenly anticipated because it would be a chance at justice for his accusers, who had not been informed ahead of time of the non-prosecution agreement. Meanwhile, Epstein was known for his “collection” of famous friends, including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, and many wondered what, if anything, an ongoing investigation into Epstein would reveal about them.
Now we’ll never know what would have come out at trial, about Epstein or anyone else. We may never know some details about Epstein’s life, like exactly how he made his money or how he managed to parlay his way from college dropout to teacher at a high-profile Manhattan high school to money manager to the rich and famous. We may not know the full extent of his crimes, or the full story behind the agreement that let him go nearly unpunished for so long.
We do know, however, that dozens of women say Epstein targeted them when they were young and vulnerable — often poor, generally in their teens or early twenties — abusing them and then getting them to recruit other girls for abuse.
“He ruined my life and a lot of girls’ lives,” Michelle Licata, who says Epstein abused her, told the Herald last year. “People need to know what he did and why he wasn’t prosecuted so it never happens again.”