The Manhattan U.S. Attorney said Saturday the investigation into the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case will continue, as victims demand justice in the wake of the financier's apparent death by suicide in jail.
Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment "remains ongoing." He emphasized that the indictment included one conspiracy count.
"Today's events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein's many victims their day in Court," Berman said. "To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you."
The victims of accused child sex trafficker Epstein expressed outrage in the wake of his death and called on authorities to pursue his alleged accomplices.
Jennifer Araoz, who says she was raped by Epstein when she was 15, said she was "angry Jeffrey Epstein will not have to face his survivors of his abuse in court."
"We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives," Araoz said. "While he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed the pain and trauma he caused so many people."
"Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served," she continued. "I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims."
Sigrid McCawley, the lawyer to Virginia Roberts Giuffre and other victims, said it was no coincidence that Epstein took his life less than 24 hours after court documents that were unsealed detailing "the scope, scale and sophistication of the international sex trafficking operation Epstein conducted."
"The reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of brave and truthful victims should not end with Jeffrey Epstein's cowardly and shameful suicide," McCawley said.
"We are hopeful that the government will continue to investigate and will focus on those who participated and facilitated Epstein's horrifying sex trafficking scheme that damaged so many," she said.
Florida congresswoman Lois Frankel said the House Committee on Oversight and Reform should begin its own investigation immediately, saying the public has a right to know why Epstein was given a non-prosecution deal back in 2007 under which he served a 13-month sentence, much of which was spent on work release.
"The death of Jeffrey Epstein does not end the need for justice for his victims or the right of the public to know why a prolific child molester got a slap on the wrist instead of a long prison sentence," Frankel said. "With the obvious end to criminal proceedings against Epstein, it is important that the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform begin its investigation immediately."