With high-powered hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein dead of apparent suicide before he could be tried for child sex trafficking, many are wondering what happens to the pending — and ongoing — cases against him.
Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah did her best to sum up what happens, and what should happen, next with MSNBC’s Joy Reid.
“The important people are the people Jeffrey Epstein victimized and trafficked to other people,” Reid began. “What happens regarding the previous plea deal that he was able to get, a very sweet deal where he could leave jail six days a week to go and have a private car pick him up and take him to work? The fact that that happens, what happens to any cases that deal with that, that deal with the prosecutors and whoever was involved in letting this guy essentially walk the first time. What happens to those cases, or is there a case? Is there a way to still hold people to account? ”
“Well, there is still a civil proceeding pending in Florida,” explained Rocah. “And there are now new, you know, criminal investigations, as I understand it, at the state level in Florida, all looking into that plea deal, and there is an investigation in the Department of Justice and the Office of Professional Responsibility. All of those, frankly, will be the least affected by this, in the sense that, those are focused on the actions of law enforcement and prosecutors in Florida at the time, you know, Acosta, as we know, the Florida sheriff, so those in some ways will be the least affected, and will still, I think, be able to provide some small, hopefully measure of justice for these victims.”
“I think part of getting justice for the victims is getting answers to the question of how in the world this was allowed to happen, that he got such a sweet deal the first time around, I don’t even want to call it a sweet dial, such a travesty of justice, a failure of our justice system,” added Rocah. “I think those answers are still very much worth pursuing, regardless of where Jeffrey Epstein is or frankly even how he died. Those are obviously important questions too, but I think getting answers to what happened the first time around is very very important to our justice system going forward, to these victims personally. I think those will be pursued and I hope we will get some light and answers on those.”