Epstein accusers have their day in court
by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/28/19, 12:31 pm
Nearly two dozen women who accuse Jeffrey Epstein of sex trafficking and abuse gathered in a federal courtroom to testify before an empty defense chair. Courts usually dismiss charges against deceased defendants without a hearing, but U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman gave the women a chance to speak Tuesday in a New York City courtroom despite Epstein’s death by apparent suicide on Aug. 10.
What did Epstein’s accusers say? For 2½ hours, 16 women testified in support of charges that the billionaire sexually abused and raped dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14. The women described how a network of associates recruited the girls to have sex with Epstein and his celebrity friends. The name of Britain’s Prince Andrew came up again at a news conference following Tuesday’s hearing. One accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said the son of Queen Elizabeth II had sex with her when she was 17 and under Epstein’s control. “He knows exactly what he’s done, and I hope he comes clean about it,” Giuffre said Tuesday. The prince has denied any knowledge of Epstein’s actions, and Buckingham Palace called the accusations untrue.
Dig deeper: Read WORLD intern Esther Eaton’s description of Epstein in a hearing before his death.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.