Florida Judge Unseals Epstein’s Grand Jury Records from Criminal Case

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TL/DR –

Transcripts from the 2006 grand jury proceedings in the Jeffrey Epstein case have been released by a Palm Beach County judge, revealing prosecutors’ attempts to portray two young women who testified as criminals, not victims. The release follows a new law signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis allowing the records to be made public. These transcripts provide insight into the treatment of Epstein, who, despite facing multiple accusations of sexual abuse, was able to secure lenient plea deals due to his wealth and connections, resulting in minimal consequences for his actions.


Palm Beach County Judge Releases Transcripts from Jeffrey Epstein’s Criminal Case

Transcripts from grand jury proceedings in the Florida criminal case of Jeffrey Epstein were released on Monday by a judge in Palm Beach County. These long-awaited records reveal how prosecutors attempted to portray two young women who testified as criminals rather than victims of sexual abuse.

Judge Luis Delgado ordered the release of the records in line with a new law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which grants public access to grand jury records in the 2006 case. Typically, such files are kept confidential.

The release of the records was championed for three years by Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts Joseph Abruzzo, who believes the public and victims should understand how the criminal case unfolded. Abruzzo commented that the case was so extraordinary and public interest so high, that the law was changed specifically for it. Victims and the public want to know why Epstein received a lenient sentence, continuing his heinous acts against hundreds of underage girls or women for decades.

In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution and received an 18-month jail sentence. Yet, a lenient work-release deal allowed him to continue his daily routine, transported by his chauffeur to his West Palm Beach office and home, while officially under the custody of the Palm Beach County sheriff’s office.

Epstein’s wealth and global connections, including ties to powerful figures like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Britain’s Prince Andrew, led many victims to believe that he was treated with deference by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami.

Years later, Epstein’s actions were revisited in the Miami Herald in 2018, leading to his arrest in New York in 2019 on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy. His death in a federal jail cell in August that year was ruled a suicide. Epstein’s longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, was charged with sex crimes the following year and began serving a 20-year sentence in 2022.

The released 158-page transcript includes testimony from two of Epstein’s young victims. They described how Epstein and his assistants recruited girls at Royal Palm Beach High School to give him “massages,” and each girl was paid $200 to bring another girl to the house. Palm Beach Police investigator Joseph Recarey testified that Epstein preferred younger girls and rejected a 23-year-old woman as too old.

Throughout the proceedings, Assistant State Attorney Lanna Belohlavek questioned the girls in a manner that sought to undermine their credibility, a rare move in front of a grand jury. The girls were asked about their criminal involvement and whether they understood their actions constituted prostitution.

In February, when Gov. DeSantis signed the law to release the records, three of Epstein’s victims stood alongside him. Victims Jena-Lisa Jones and Haley Robson expressed the importance of releasing the records to fully understand the case and its effects. State Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman, co-sponsor of the bill, noted the recent suicides of two victims and described the case as a “debacle” and a “miscarriage of justice,” which should never be allowed to occur again.

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