Many people imagine kicking in the door of a trafficker’s home. That’s not always how interventions take place. But this weekend that’s exactly what federal agents did to hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein’s 21,000 square-foot Manhattan mansion. On July 8th, federal prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
The indictment is a big first step for justice for Epstein’s victims, who were not consulted by Florida prosecutors before the multi-millionaire was given an exceptionally lenient plea agreement in 2008. Epstein was convicted in Florida only of soliciting a prostitute. He served 13 months in jail, was allowed to travel to and from his office, and he avoided prosecution for federal sex-trafficking offenses.
For many reasons, proving trafficking is often a challenge for prosecutors. There are youth in our care we know were trafficked, yet their traffickers evade charges, or plea to lesser crimes. This is where people like you make a difference. In addition to the bravery of victims & sharp journalism from the Miami Herald, this case is moving forward because of public outcry. ‘Til now, Epstein’s case sent a message that people, especially powerful people, can do this without facing justice. Let’s continue to demand more.