BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission terminates Electric Works development agreement Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Millionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein apologizes in settling malicious prosecution suit

Multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, an alleged serial sex abuser of girls, settled a lawsuit Tuesday, dodging ...

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 3:28 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 3:29 PM

Multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, an alleged serial sex abuser of girls, settled a lawsuit Tuesday, dodging the threat for now that several of his accusers would tell their stories in open court.

The case, which had been unfolding in Palm Beach County, Florida, Circuit Court for almost six years, ends a malicious prosecution counterclaim filed by attorney Bradley Edwards, who represented some of Epstein's accusers. Edwards filed the counterclaim after Epstein accused him and a now-disbarred attorney of wrongdoing in a civil lawsuit.

Bobby Epstein

Business figures

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Fraud and financial crimes

Jeffrey Epstein

Law and legal system

Lawsuits and claims

Ponzi schemes

Settlements and compromises

Sports figures

Trial and procedure

White collar crime

Apologies

Crimes against persons

Criminal law

Demographic groups

Plea agreements

Population and demographics

Sex crimes

Society

Wealthy people

The settlement came as jury selection was set to begin. Expected to testify were at least seven alleged victims, law enforcement officers, former US attorneys and Epstein's former associates, said Michael Fisten, an investigator on Edwards' team.

The specifics of the settlement are confidential, but court records indicate Epstein issued an apology as part of the settlement. Epstein conceded in the apology that he tried to denigrate Edwards' reputation as a trial lawyer, Edwards said in a statement.

"The truth is that his aggressive investigation and litigation style was highly effective and therefore troublesome for me. The lawsuit I filed was my unreasonable attempt to damage his business reputation and stop Mr. Edwards from pursuing cases against me. It did not work," Epstein said in his apology, according to Edwards' statement.

The girls, many from poor backgrounds, were abused for years, Fisten said. The trial was one of two remaining opportunities for them to recount the alleged crimes against them publicly -- something that has never happened because the cases against Epstein have been settled, pleaded out or resulted in reduced charges.

How it began

In Epstein's original lawsuit, he alleged that Edwards and Scott Rothstein, a former lawyer now serving time after pleading guilty in 2010 to crimes involving a massive Ponzi scheme, committed a series of crimes, including fraud and racketeering, to unearth information about Epstein and his business associates.

The purpose, Epstein alleged, was "to defraud investors and support extortionate demands for payment from Epstein," the complaint says.

Edwards fired back in his counterclaim that Epstein was pursuing a malicious prosecution.

"Epstein's primary purpose in both filing and continuing to prosecute each of the claims against Edwards was to inflict maximum economic burden on Edwards in having to defend against the spurious claims, to distract Edwards from the prosecution of claims against Epstein arising out of Epstein's serial abuse of minors, and ultimately to extort Edwards into abandoning the claims he was prosecuting against Edwards," the counterclaim alleges.

The Miami Herald published a report last week saying that, when he was a US attorney, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta gave Epstein the "deal of a lifetime" despite a federal investigation identifying 36 underage victims of the hedge fund manager. The Herald said it found about 80 women Epstein allegedly molested or sexually abused over a five-year period.

The report said Acosta forged a deal with one of Epstein's attorneys in which the multimillionaire pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges, ultimately serving only 13 months and avoiding a federal trial. The agreement, the Herald said, "essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe" and further granted immunity to "any potential co-conspirators" in the case.

As part of the plea, Epstein registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to the victims identified by the FBI.

What the settlement means

For Acosta, who declined to comment Monday, the settlement short-circuits a trial that could have proved embarrassing as accusers who feel they were denied justice by the plea agreement would have taken the stand to tell graphic stories of Epstein's alleged abuse.

Epstein's federal indictment, which was never made public because of the deal, will stay sealed, and no testimony will be heard from former US attorneys who could paint a clearer picture of the office culture that handed the plea deal to an alleged serial abuser.

The accusers will have one more shot at justice with a victims' rights lawsuit pending in federal court, which alleges the plea agreement didn't provide notice to the alleged victims as required by law.

They are hoping the judge vacates the plea agreement, which means the plea would no longer be valid and the current US attorney could prosecute Epstein.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93031

Reported Deaths: 3529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17107514
Cuyahoga12646477
Hamilton9110247
Lucas4852318
Montgomery402477
Summit3248217
Marion287544
Butler268359
Mahoning2393253
Pickaway235242
Stark1679132
Lorain162076
Warren160035
Columbiana157060
Trumbull1421103
Fairfield123825
Delaware119418
Licking111642
Clark107613
Lake103435
Wood91058
Clermont83510
Medina83133
Miami76837
Tuscarawas74613
Portage71160
Allen64642
Greene61911
Belmont58926
Ashtabula53845
Richland53610
Geauga52843
Mercer52213
Erie51627
Wayne49258
Ross3874
Huron3714
Ottawa35225
Athens3441
Madison32910
Sandusky32917
Holmes3206
Darke31627
Hancock3152
Lawrence2160
Union2141
Auglaize2135
Jefferson2043
Washington19722
Putnam19317
Coshocton1856
Scioto1851
Muskingum1781
Knox1652
Crawford1645
Preble1642
Morrow1582
Shelby1574
Seneca1533
Hardin15012
Clinton1466
Fulton1391
Ashland1303
Defiance1294
Highland1271
Williams1233
Logan1201
Wyandot1195
Brown1121
Guernsey1106
Hocking1089
Carroll1075
Henry1061
Champaign1051
Perry1052
Fayette940
Monroe9018
Van Wert681
Pike660
Jackson650
Paulding590
Gallia571
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs240
Morgan200
Harrison191
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Angola
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Cooler Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events