Epstein’s Suicide Creates Unique Legal Nightmare For Everyone.
Attorney General William Barr is incensed that Jeffrey Epstein managed to strangle himself in his cell, especially since he was put on prison suicide watch July 23rd, following an earlier attempt at self-exiting the mortal bounds of this earth, but then taken off that suicide watch just a week later.
Having a suicide pill smuggled into your cell á lá Nazi Hermann Göring at Nuremberg is one thing, but to quietly strangle (or hang) yourself while being monitored 24/7 is inexcusable and a disgrace to those in charge of his confinement, and raises suspicion amongst others. The imagination runs wild with conspiracy theories, such as, were guards paid to look the other way, or ignore suicide materials in his cell that shouldn’t have been there? One would think that clothing, bedding and other items which could be manipulated into a hangman’s noose wouldn’t be available to him, but I guess not.
Technical details of the hanging notwithstanding (at the time of this writing the Medical Examiner’s report hasn’t been released), most people instinctively think good riddance to bad rubbish. Not so for his victims, because now that he’s dead before the judge even banged the gavel to commence his sex trafficking trial(s), they may never see any justice at all.
The criminal investigations into Epstein may now take on a lot less urgency, since the wicked witch is dead and he can’t stand trial anyway. The “authorities” say this won’t be the case, but priorities are priorities, and since Barr has already been made to look so bad (rightly or wrongly), Federal investigators will either start working on this ’round the clock like a bat out of hell, or instead, slowly shuffle about their work and take their time, hoping this nightmare will just go away.
The problem for victims is, civil lawsuits, which seek monetary compensation for damages, are often based on criminal investigation. The results of official criminal investigation form the very basis of civil lawsuits. Plus, since the perpetrator is dead, it’s questionable who the victims can now sue in civil court for damages, because his estate can’t be found liable for his sex crimes since the man hasn’t been convicted of those crimes yet, and he no longer holds those assets which could otherwise be seized while he was alive.
As they say, you can’t take it with you, but with few exceptions, only the IRS can ignore your status of dead and easily take money from your estate, even years after you bought the farm.
Victims’ lawyers plan to file civil suits against the estate anyway, asking the Administrator of Epstein’s estate to “do the right thing” and not distribute any monies/wealth/convert assets into cash, prior to victims getting their day in court. I have to admit that while having my morning Cheerios and milk, a few of those Cheerios painfully jet-rocketed through my nose due to laughter. Do the right thing? Are these guys lawyers, or comedians?
From a legal standpoint, successfully suing the estate? Good luck with that one. I don’t see it happening, but stranger things have happened. And I sure don’t see his estate’s Administrator having an It’s A Wonderful Life George Bailey epiphany where everyone in town shared their money with him around the Christmas tree.
As a very important aside, Epstein wasn’t greedy with his sex slaves, and he shared them with many of his good old boys. It’s these friends who have to be identified as quickly as possible, so that at least some victims have an avenue to recoup damages, and that only comes through the criminal investigations. But why the big rush?
Well, Epstein’s crimes in Florida and New York have been the focus of the investigations and charges, but these states don’t necessarily share common ages of consent nor statutes of limitations for pedophilia and other sex assault crimes. If you were an Epstein victim many years ago in Florida, and a minor at the time, you’re out of luck, because the statute of limitations for that crime against you as a minor has long passed. However, if you were a minor and a victim in New York, it’s a totally different story:
At the beginning of 2019, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act (CVA), which, starting August 14th (this week!), not only substantially extends the statute of limitations for pedophilia, but allows all victims of pedophilia in the state to sue, regardless of when the abuse occurred. It could have been decades ago, but it’s only a one-year window to file suit, so these civil cases must be filed before Aug. 13th, 2020.
No doubt there are many New York attorneys that were ready to file suit this week on behalf of their clients against Epstein under this CVA, but those cases are now dead since Epstein is now dead. It’s a legal disaster for Epstein’s New York victims, and I can’t imagine what’s going to be going on Monday morning in these offices. Even while being prepped and interviewed on TV, some of these lawyers look confused, dumbfounded, numb, and scared half to death. It’s totally new legal territory.
However, if a victim was violated by someone in addition to Epstein, or violated only by someone who was a part of Epstein’s “circle”…or one can reasonably identify those making his crimes possible and supporting them…those victims can seek litigation satisfaction there, against them. (Mind you, the New York CVA statute only applies to victims under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.)
To do this though, claimants and their lawyers need investigative details as quickly as possible, and as mentioned above, unless it was a crime that falls within the statute of limitations possibly leading to criminal prosecution, it’s doubtful the authorities will investigate it earnestly enough to reveal those details just to support civil litigation. They have better things to do, and if it isn’t criminally prosecutable, it’s usually ignored.
Unlike accusations in New York against the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, and Rockefeller University Hospital…where the investigations have been thorough, the evidence is in, and the organizations are expressing willingness to settle with their victims…many of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims fall into a different category, not able to sue those responsible for their damages, and no one left to settle with. It’s a travesty of justice, just because someone wasn’t doing their job and let Epstein take the easy way out.
To use a very sad analogy, no bells are ringing, and no angels are getting their wings.