The executors of Jeffrey Epstein’s estate have asked a United States Virgin Islands judge for permission to establish a compensation fund, intended for those who have accused the late Epstein of sexually abusing them.
Epstein passed away in his Manhattan prison cell in August this year, with his death officially ruled a suicide. His brother rejects the official findings and has instructed his own pathologist, whose report is said to conclude that Epstein’s injuries may not have been self-inflicted.
Epstein’s assets were placed in a trust shortly before his death, with his estate said to be worth $577 million. He was due to stand trial for sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, and had pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He had previously entered into a plea deal in 2006 for other charges of unlawful sex acts with a minor. The plea deal has since been widely criticised.
Judge Richard Berman presiding over the Jeffrey Epstein trial, took the unprecedented step on Tuesday (27 August) of allowing the victims and survivors, who accused the late Jeffrey Epstein of sexual offences, to make impact statements in the case against Epstein.
Federal prosecutors in the case required permission from the judge to drop the sex trafficking charges following Epstein’s death. The hearing was scheduled so that the victims and survivors could tell their stories before the case against Epstein was dismissed. Judge Berman, who is also a licensed social worker and has written a number of articles on child abuse and safeguarding, praised the complainants for having “the courage to come forward.”
Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday (10 August 2019).
Some weeks prior, he had been found semi-conscious in his cell with injuries to his neck and had been placed on suicide watch. However, prison officials allegedly reported that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch prior to his death. The cause of his earlier injuries were never clarified by prison officials who claimed not to “share information on an inmate’s medical status or their conditions of confinement”.