“Outside the Prep Bubble” is a recurring feature by Hannah Grace Biggs looking at issue beyond the campus. (Illustration by Alex Roberson)
“Outside the Prep Bubble” is a recurring feature by Hannah Grace Biggs looking at issue beyond the campus.

Illustration by Alex Roberson

OUTSIDE THE PREP BUBBLE: The strange case of Jeffrey Epstein

From Issue 5

December 17, 2019

On August 10, 2019,  American financer Jeffrey Epstein, charged with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. Originally ruled a suicide by a New York city medical examiner, Eptsein’s death has drawn national attention in the following months due to its suspicious nature and the fact that it occured while Epstein was awaiting trial for several high profile crimes.

Epstein had previously been sentenced to 18 months in jail, of which he served 13, after pleading guilty to one charge of solicitation of prositiution which involved a minor in 2008. Following this charge, Epstein was registered as a sex offender.

In July of 2019, as Epstein was awaiting trial for recent charges, he was reported injured in his cell. It was several weeks later in August when he was found dead. Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden stated that the injuries sustained by Epstein were not consistent with those usually found on suicide victims and rather were indicative of a possible homocide. However, Baden’s claims were disputed by New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Barabara Sampson, who had previously ruled Epstein’s death a suicide.

Following the reports of Epstein’s death, the Metropolitan Correctional Center revealed  that, on the night of Epstein’s apparent suicide, two guards had failed to fulfill their duty to check Epstein’s status every thirty minutes. These guards are now facing charges related to their negligence.

Epstein’s death effectively ended the criminal trial and any hopes of achieving justice for those affected by his crimes. Along with Epstein, many other people are reported to have been implicated in now-sealed court documents associated with the case. Speculation has run rampant about who else might have been linked to Epstein’s crimes, as the financier’s social circle was known to include many high profile public figures and politicians, including current president Donald J. Trump and former president Bill Clinton. However, due to Epstein’s death, it will likely never be revealed whether any of these speculations were factual.

Lawyers representing Epstein’s alleged victims stated in November that they expected new suits to be filed against Epstein’s estate in the coming weeks and months, and, indeed, a growing list of women have begun suing Epstein’s estate following the collapse of his criminal trial.

The lack of closure in the Epstein trial has left his alleged victims angry and many American citizens speculative about who else might have been implicated had the trial been carried to completion.

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