Alleged child abuser and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s attorneys filed paperwork on Thursday requesting a pre-trial release for their client, and claiming that Epstein should be allowed to wait out his court date in his lux—and thoroughly bizarre—Manhattan townhouse, rather than in jail.
While the idea of allowing a man accused of sexually preying on dozens of young girls to return to the luxury property where many of the alleged abuses took place is grotesque enough, Epstein’s lawyers pleaded for leniency from District Court Judge Richard Berman, claiming that even though their client had been charged with sex trafficking, it wasn’t actually the really bad kind of sex trafficking.
They wrote (emphasis mine):
The government’s indictment labels this a “Sex Trafficking” case. Yes, the government may have witnesses who will testify to participating in sexual massages – most over 18; some under; some who told the police they lied about their age to gain admission to Mr. Epstein’s residence; some who will testify that Mr. Epstein knew they were not yet 18. But their anticipated testimony only punctuates the alleged offenses’ purely local nature. (All occurred within a single New York residence or, if the Florida conduct is ultimately ruled admissible despite the NPA, then within two residences.) There are no allegations in the indictment that Mr. Epstein trafficked anybody for commercial profit; that he forced, coerced, defrauded, or enslaved anybody; or that he engaged in any of the other paradigmatic sex trafficking activity that 18 U.S.C. § 1591 aims to eradicate. No one seeks to minimize the gravity of the alleged conduct, but it is clear that the conduct falls within the heartland of classic state or local sex offenses – and at or outside the margins of federal criminal law.
Later, Epstein’s attorneys argued, seemingly without a hint of irony, that (again, emphasis mine):
The dangerousness prong of the Bail Reform Act is predictive, asking whether it’s likely that Mr. Epstein will reoffend if released. A spotless 14-year record of walking the straight and narrow, complemented by an exemplary 10-year history of diligent sex offender registration and reporting, is compelling proof he was able, once the prior investigation commenced, to conform his conduct to the law’s dictates.
As a reminder, prosecutors have charged Epstein with having (per his indictment) “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations.” He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
And Epstein’s lawyers claimed their client doesn’t represent a flight risk, despite the fact that he owns a private island, dubbed “Pedophile Island” (really) by locals, as well as reportedly possesses three active passports, and a private jet (which his lawyers insisted he will ground as part of their request).