Jeffrey Epstein is gone, but justice still must be served: Accusers say they feel robbed
Jeffrey Epstein pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking and allegedly sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida. USA TODAY
After the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, the women who say he raped them when they were teens are angry he will never face the consequences of his actions.
“I am extremely mad and hurt thinking he once again thought he was above us and took the easy way out,” Jena-Lisa Jones said in a statement. Now 30, she said she was 14 when Epstein molested her.
“God will have his judgment now,” she said in the statement published by ABC News.
There have been multiple calls for an investigation into why the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender was not on suicide watch Saturday after an apparent attempt at the end of July.
A barrage of statements condemned a conspiracy theory about Epstein’s death retweeted by President Donald Trump that tried to link the death to former President Bill Clinton.
Jennifer Araoz, who said Epstein raped her when she was 15, said she’s angry he will never have to face his victims in court.
“We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” Araoz said in a statement released by her attorney, Sonia Moghe.
She called on authorities to continue the investigation.
“Epstein is gone, but justice still must be served. I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers and ensure redress for his victims,” she said.
Miami Heraldreporter Julie K. Brown, whose stories were instrumental in reopening the case against Epstein last year, spoke Saturday with some of the women who say they were victimized by him as girls.
“I just want wanted him to be held accountable for his actions. I would never wish that somebody would die, but he took the easy way out,” Michelle Licata told her.
Attorney Lisa Bloom represents several women who accused Epstein of molesting and raping them. She released a statement from one of her clients Saturday.
“I will never have a sense of closure now. I’m angry as hell that the prison could have allowed this to happen and that I and his other victims will never see him face the consequences for his horrendous actions,” the unidentified woman said.
“I hope that whoever allowed this to happen also faces some type of consequence. You stole from us, the huge piece of healing that we needed to move on with our lives,” Bloom quoted her as saying.
She and other lawyers working on behalf of Epstein’s accusers said the fight is not over and civil cases will continue against Epstein’s estate.
“I am calling today for the administrators of Jeffrey Epstein’s estate to freeze all his assets and hold them for his victims who are filing civil cases. Their lives have been shattered by his sexual assaults, their careers derailed. They deserve full and fair compensation NOW,” Bloom tweeted.
Bradley Edwards, a lawyer who has long pursued Epstein on behalf of his clients, said in an interview with BuzzFeed News that it is not too late to come forward.
“In fact, his many co-conspirators who may have been fearful to speak out against him have been relieved of that excuse; this is their last chance to speak up,” he said.
Manhattan U.S Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement that the investigation will continue.
“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 with you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment – which included a conspiracy count – remains ongoing,” he said in a statement.
Berman urged anyone who might be a victim to contact his office or the FBI.
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