Attorney Alan Dershowitz’s name appears 19 times in an investigative report on the ways billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein manipulated the legal system to torment his accusers and escape serious punishment.
Two of the victims are suing the federal government to overturn Epstein’s unusual and controversial plea agreement, and an unrelated state court case scheduled to stand trial Tuesday, could expose more of the well-connected billionaire’s crimes, reported the Miami Herald.
Former prosecutor Alexander Acosta — now President Donald Trump’s labor secretary — offered a plea agreement to Epstein that allowed him to serve just 13 months in county jail and hide most of his crimes.
The Herald examined that agreement, which was made without telling Epstein’s dozens of victims — who want the plea deal overturned as a violation of the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
One of those victims has claimed she had sex with Dershowitz — a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and frequent Trump defender on television — at least six times, at the direction of Epstein and his socialite friend Ghislaine Maxwell.
Maxwell recruited Virginia Roberts, then 16, to work as a masseuse for Epstein while she was working as a locker room attendant at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort.
Roberts went public with her claims about sex with Dershowitz and Prince Andrew in 2011 in a paid interview with the British tabloid, the Daily Mail, and she discussed those encounters in detail in a 2015 affidavit.
Dershowitz, Prince Andrew and Maxwell have steadfastly denied her claims.
Roberts claims Epstein, who claimed Trump and Bill Clinton among his wealthy and powerful friends, set up cameras throughout his homes and provided visitors with girls for sex as part of a blackmail scheme.
“Epstein specifically told me that the reason for him doing this was so that they would ‘owe him,’ they would ‘be in his pocket,’ and he would ‘have something on them,’” Roberts said in the affidavit. “I understood him to mean that when someone was in his pocket, they owed him favors.”
Dershowitz ended up working on Epstein’s legal defense team, and the New York Magazine reported in 2007 that he helped his billionaire friend pursue an aggressive counter-investigation against his accusers.
“Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor, provided the police and the state attorney’s office with a dossier on a couple of the victims gleaned from their MySpace sites—showing alcohol and drug use and lewd comments,” the magazine reported. “The police complained that private investigators were harassing the family of the 14-year-old girl before she was to appear before the grand jury in spring 2006. The police said that one girl had called another to say, ‘Those who help [Epstein] will be compensated and those who hurt him will be dealt with.'”
The Fort Lauderdale attorney who will take the state court case to trial next week filed a defamation suit against Dershowitz, who countersued in 2015, and the law professor claims the resulting settlement vindicated him.
“I never had any knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein having any contact with any underage women — ever,” Dershowitz told the Herald.
Dershowitz admits receiving a massage just once at Epstein’s Palm Beach home, but insists it was a therapeutic massage by a masseuse, not by Roberts or anyone else who was underage.
He also says his wife was present at the home at the time.
Roberts, now 35, sued Maxwell — who she says recruited her into Epstein’s sexual abuse — for defamation after she described the accuser as a liar in a news interview.
The lawsuit was intended to clear her name and prove that Epstein and Maxwell operated an international sex trafficking operation, but nearly all the evidence in the case was sealed as part of a 2017 settlement.
Her attorney says Roberts received a sizable settlement, but the amount is confidential.
Epstein, now 65, operates a charitable foundation that funds scientific projects and partially funds the online NeuroTV network.
Maxwell, now 56, has become an internationally known environmentalists and gave a 2013 TED Talk on ocean conservation.