Jeffrey Epstein’s associates could face federal criminal prosecutions based on the available evidence, but and building a case against them could take years, sex trafficking legal experts say.
Epstein kept a detailed list of his contacts in a little black book and was photographed with many powerful figures, including former President Bill Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom, former President Donald Trump and more.
Epstein’s longtime pilot, Larry Visoski, testified during the criminal trial of Epstein’s partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, that he saw Clinton, Trump and disgraced actor Kevin Spacey among Epstein’s famous clients. He did not make specific allegations in his testimony. One Maxwell accuser, who testified under pseudonym, said in her testimony that Maxwell bragged about her connections to powerful figures.
The legal action against Epstein’s alleged associates has been confined to civil lawsuits by victims and attorneys general, despite the evidence available for criminal prosecutions, such as Epstein’s little black book and the testimonies in the Maxwell trial.
Benjamin Bull, chief legal counsel at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), said prosecutors should be “salivating” over the chance to pursue justice for Epstein’s victims. “Any serious prosecutor worth his salt would be all over this little black book,” Bull told the Daily Caller.
“It’s a roadmap leading to the people guilty of trafficking children among Epstein’s friends and benefactors, such as Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and other prominent but culpable perpetrators,” he continued. “The scandal waiting to explode is why law enforcement has ignored this ever-growing sex trafficking ring. We need an explanation for why people are not being charged and prosecuted. Is this an instance of classic influence peddling corruption in law enforcement? Why no action? The silence is now deafening.”
Bull is a former prosecutor of obscenity and child pornography cases and has won multiple cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also trained Justice Department prosecutors, numerous state attorneys general and prosecutorial organizations.
An investigation and prosecution involving wide-ranging criminal activity by sex traffickers can take years before charges are brought, and the international scale of Epstein’s activities could slow the process even more.
“It is not atypical for a human trafficking case to take several years to investigate and prosecute,” said Jane Anderson, a former human trafficking prosecutor in Miami-Dade County. “Investigators and prosecutors should investigate all sex crimes, following the evidence they uncover, including following up on any victim disclosure of sexual assault or exploitation.”
Prosecutors can obtain primary sources of evidence such as “interviews, digital evidence, public and government records, financial records, and more. Some evidence requires probable cause (or other legal standards) and tools like court orders, search warrants, or subpoenas to access,” Anderson told the Caller.
A criminal case can usually be established beyond a reasonable doubt if at least one witness can provide testimony, according to Anderson.
“The law in most states specifically says that a case can be established beyond a reasonable doubt based on the testimony of one witness. However, I would think most prosecutors would prefer to have corroborating evidence (testimonial, physical, circumstantial, or direct) to support a victim’s testimony,” Anderson said.
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