- The death of Jeffrey Epstein means he cannot be prosecuted in criminal court over sex trafficking allegations.
- However, his actions could still result in criminal punishment if prosecutors bring charges against his associates.
- In an interview broadcast Monday, US attorney Gloria Allred said she would like to pursue criminal charges, and that any co-conspirators “have to be accountable.” She did not name anybody.
- Other lawyers have said they intend to pursue claims in civil court against Epstein’s estate.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Jeffrey Epstein’s death over this weekend in prison has extinguished any chance of him being convicted in criminal court for what prosecutors say is a years-long sex trafficking ring preying on vulnerable young girls.
But others close to Epstein who helped him could yet face criminal trial over their role in the enterprise.
In an interview broadcast Monday morning by the BBC, US attorney Gloria Allred — who represents victims of Epstein — said that she supports bringing criminal charges against co-conspirators.
Here is Allred’s exchange, broadcast on the BBC radio’s flagship news program, “Today”:
Allred: There are others who enabled him, who assisted him, perhaps even recruited girls for him. When I say perhaps I know that there were others who did that but the question is can we find these people, is there going to be sufficient evidence…
BBC: …and you would like to see criminal cases brought against some of them as well?
Allred: Yes I would, if in fact there is proof beyond reasonable doubt in the eyes of the prosecutor, yes. The likes of them have to be accountable in a a criminal case because i think that without them he could not have accomplished what he did.
Epstein is the only one to have been charged in a criminal case related to his actions, when on July 8 he was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy.
Allred did not name anybody who might be in prosecutors’ sights.
Several high-profile individuals have been named in legal documents from the Epstein case as having allegedly helped him run the trafficking operation Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, Nadia Marcinkova, and Ghislane Maxwell.
Maxwell, a British socialite and daughter of press baron Robert Maxwell, is accused of recruiting under-age girls for sex with Epstein.
Virginia Giuffre says she was one such victim, and that Maxwell recruited her at age 15 to give Epstein massages while she worked in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Guiffre called herself Epstein’s “teen sex slave” during a deposition for a 2017 defamation suit she brought against Maxwell, according to recently unsealed court documents.
Another allegedly recruited by Maxwell was Johanna Sjoberg who claimed Maxwell approached her on campus at Palm Beach Atlantic University when she was 21.
Allred’s words in the BBC interview chime with former prosecutors who said over the weekend that the case will continue.
Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, told New York Magazine: “It is likely that investigators will continue to investigate any co-conspirators who are involved in this case.”
Jack Scarola, an attorney for several other alleged victims, told the Miami Herald: “There are named and unnamed co-conspirators who still need to be brought to justice.”
However, Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor, told Business Insider that a successful prosecution would likely require more evidence than prosecutors have so far been willing to disclose.
She said: “Frankly, I think if they had a strong case against other people, we might have already seen it.
“Maybe what the hope is, now that Epstein’s not around, the people will say ‘someone has to be held responsible,’ and more people will come forward.”
An investigation into one of Epstein’s associates is already underway, the Times of London reported on Monday.
The conspiracy investigation reportedly concerns British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of “recruiting, maintaining…, and trafficking girls for Epstein” to have sex with. Maxwell denies the claims.
Running alongside the criminal investigation are civil proceedings against Epstein’s estate.
Lisa Bloom, an attorney seeking damages for several of his accusers, tweeted on Saturday: “Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We’re just getting started.”
“On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred he lived to face justice.”
Trump and Epstein’s friendship reportedly soured after they fought over a $41 million Palm Beach mansion. 2 weeks after the home’s auction, cops received a tip about underage women at Epstein’s house.