US

Epstein’s Accusers Say Justice Still Needs to Be Done, Will Go After Alleged Enablers : Lawyers

By Samuel Allegri

Accusers of recently deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein are unsatisfied with his apparent suicide, saying they would have preferred that he faced court instead of death in jail.

Jennifer Araoz, who accused Epstein of raping her when she was 15, says that his death won’t heal the scars that the abused women will have to live with for the rest of their lives, reported NBC.

Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla.(Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post/File Photo via AP)

“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court,” she said in a statement. “We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people. Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served. I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims.”

The attorneys of his accusers said that Epstein’s apparent suicide was unfair and cowardly, reported The Washington Post.

“I guess there is somewhat an element of relief because the fear of him getting out is obviously over,” said Kimberly Lerner, attorney for one of the accusers, “but there is also, they’ll never be able to look into his eye and say, ‘You hurt me,’ there’s that element of closure that he’s taken away from them.”

She added that Epstein’s death is not “the end, it’s just a new beginning.”

“There’s a whole network that enabled him and allowed this to happen and it’s time that everyone who was a part of this be held accountable,” she said.

Epstein’s apparent death came within a day of new details about his alleged sexual abuse of minor girls being unsealed in court filings, implicating other men of high profile.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre pointed at Prince Andrew, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D), and former Senate majority leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine), both of whom had ties to Epstein, as men of prominence she was ordered to have sex with.

“The reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of brave and truthful victims should not end with Jeffrey Epstein’s cowardly and shameful suicide,” Guiffre’s lawyer, Sigrid McCawley, said in a statement, “The fact that Epstein took his own life within 24 hours of the unsealing of detailed and devastating documents and exhibits in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, which informed the public of the scope, scale and sophistication of the international sex trafficking operation Epstein conducted, is no coincidence.”

‘Angry as Hell’

Lisa Bloom, who represents some of Epstein’s accusers, released a statement by an unnamed accuser that read, “I will never have a sense of closure now. I’m angry as hell that the prison could have allowed this to happen.”

Bloom explained that although it’s not possible to prosecute a dead person, civil suits can obtain monetary compensation so victims, “can get full and fair compensation for the life long damage that he caused them.”

“We intend to proceed with that immediately,” Bloom said on MSNBC. “We are going to get justice for these victims. We are not giving up. He is not going to escape justice, even in death.”

“The case against him is over, but to the extent there are others who aided and abetted or had knowledge of these crimes and had a duty to report and failed to do so, if there’s sufficient factual predicate, they can still be charged,” Trey Gowdy told Fox News.

“I’m heartbroken only for the victims who were denied an opportunity to see their attacker in a very different position in court.” Said Gowdy.

“He’s not in control, he’s not in power, he’s not calling the shots, Gowdy continued. “He’s in court, in a jumpsuit, in handcuffs, and for a lot of victims, that final image provides closure to the extent that you can have it.”

“But he wasn’t going to testify against others, I don’t think,” he said. “I certainly would not give him a cut in time to go implicate people who may have been less culpable. That makes no sense in a criminal justice system.”