New lawsuit from Jeffrey Epstein victims accuses FBI of enabling his sex trafficking

The 12 women accuse the FBI of turning a blind eye to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operation and allowing dozens of women to be abused for more than two decades

Julia Reinstein
Thursday 15 February 2024 19:26 GMT
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Twelve anonymous Jeffrey Epstein victims have filed a new lawsuit against the FBI, which they accuse of “repeated and continued failures” that allowed their abuser to run his sex trafficking operation for more than 20 years.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Southern District of New York, alleges that the FBI turned a blind eye to evidence of Epstein’s crimes since the 1990s.

“For over two decades, the [FBI] permitted Jeffrey Epstein to sex traffic and sexually abuse scores of children and young women by failing to do the job the American people expected of it,” the lawsuit states.

Between 1996 and 2006, the FBI received “reports, complaints and tips concerning the illegal sex trafficking of women and underage minors, sex abuse and human rights violations committed by Jeffrey Epstein and associates,” the lawsuit claims.

The FBI allegedly “had photographs, videos and interviews and hard evidence of child prostitution” but failed to conduct a thorough investigation.

In 2005, the lawsuit claims, the Palm Beach Police Department alerted the FBI to a report of a 14-year-old girl being trafficked, but they did not open an investigation for over a year.

“The gross negligence committed by the FBI resulted in the continued sexual abuse of Jane Does 1-12 at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein,” the suit states.

An undated photo shows Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. The photo was entered into evidence by the U.S. Attorney's Office on December 7, 2021 during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell (VIA REUTERS)

The twelve women are seeking unspecified damages.

“The filing of this lawsuit is the first step to getting to the bottom of what we have recently learned,” attorneys Jennifer Plotkin and Nathan Werksman, who are representing the women, said in a statement to CNN. “That for years the FBI negligently failed to act on clear evidence that Jeffrey Epstein was operating a vast sex abuse operation and sex trafficking ring, as alleged. That failure resulted in incalculable harm to our clients.”

In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to two state charges of prostitution of a minor and served 13 months in what was widely dubbed a sweetheart deal.

He was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in 2019 and killed himself in jail before his trial. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for trafficking women and girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.

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