Top Stories
Top Stories
Politics

Prosecutors move to drop Jeffrey Epstein's charges, but vow to keep investigating

Key Points
  • Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, filed a motion Monday asking a judge to quash the charges in Epstein's sex trafficking case in that federal court.
  • Epstein committed suicide by hanging in a Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, according to his autopsy report.
  • With no one left in the case to prosecute, the feds must request that the indictment against Epstein be dismissed by Judge Richard Berman.
Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of RADAR MAGAZINE at Hotel QT on May 18, 2005.
Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein may be dead, but the feds aren't done investigating.

Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, filed a motion Monday asking a judge to quash the charges in Epstein's sex trafficking case in that federal court.

Epstein hanged himself in suicide in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, according to his autopsy report. With no one left in the case to prosecute, the federal prosecutors must request that the indictment against Epstein be dismissed by Judge Richard Berman.

But the U.S. attorney assured in a letter to the judge that his office "remains committed to doing its utmost to stand up for the victims who have already come forward, as well as for the many others who have yet to do so."

That letter echoes Attorney General William Barr's vow last week to launch new investigations in the wake of Epstein's death.

Barr, whose Department of Justice oversees the Bureau of Prisons, said that the FBI and the DOJ's internal watchdog would investigate the jail where Epstein died. "We will get to the bottom of what happened," Barr said last week, "and there will be accountability."

His prophecy, at least in part, has already come to pass: The prison warden for the Metropolitan Correctional Center at the time of the suicide was reassigned, and on Monday Barr ordered the removal of the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, Hugh Hurwitz.

Barr had also promised "that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein."

"Any co-conspirators should not rest easy," Barr said. "The victims deserve justice and they will get it."

That same day, FBI agents and New York Police officers were seen raiding Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They seized Epstein's computers, drone footage showed.

Epstein, a super-rich financier and former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, was accused by New York federal prosecutors of abusing dozens of underage girls in his mansions in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005.

His will, signed two days before his suicide, showed that Epstein was worth nearly $580 million, The New York Post reported Monday. His money was transferred to a trust, the Post reported.

He had help carrying out this operation, court documents claim.

In lawsuits, some alleged victims have accused people who apparently worked for Epstein of scouting and grooming them before introducing them to Epstein, who would eventually sexually abuse them.

One alleged victim, Jennifer Araoz, describes British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell as Epstein's co-conspirator, and claims she "participated with and assisted Epstein in maintaining and protecting his sex trafficking ring, ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him for his sexual pleasure."

Araoz, now 32, alleges Epstein sexually abused her when she was 14 years old and raped her when she was 15.

Maxwell's whereabouts have largely been a mystery since Epstein's death. The Daily Mail reported that Maxwell had recently been seen at tech CEO Scott Borgerson's Massachusetts mansion — which he denied.

If she remains out of sight, Maxwell, 57, could avoid potential civil liability and prosecution related to her relationship with Epstein.

Two more alleged victims, who did not reveal their names in court documents, filed a $100 million lawsuit against Epstein's estate and a number of his associates.

Epstein had a mile-long contacts list that included some of the most powerful figures on the planet. He had met with Bill Gates and worked with titans of business.

And some of Epstein's former associates have been accused of sexual misconduct by some alleged victims.

In a slew of recently unsealed court documents, a woman named Virginia Giuffre said Maxwell directed her as a teenager to have sex with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, modeling company founder Jean-Luc Brunel, the owner of a large hotel chain, and another prince. Mitchell and Richardson both called the allegations "false."

VIDEO0:5800:58
NBC archive footage shows Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992