Epstein accuser petitions Supreme Court over 2008 'sweetheart' deal
Epstein victim petitions the Supreme Court to review prosecutors’ ‘sweetheart deal’ with the sex offender, saying it violated her rights
- Courtney Wild is one of more than 30 women to accuse Epstein of sexual assault
- He died by suicide in August 2019 in a New York jail, aged 66, awaiting trial
- Wild has been since 2008 fighting to discredit the actions of Miami prosecutors
- The federal officials reached agreement with Epstein on highly favorable terms
- Wild is now asking the Supreme Court to rule that the deal violated her rights
- She and other accusers were never told about the ‘sweetheart’ deal for him
A woman who claims that Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused her when she was 14 is asking the Supreme Court to rule that federal prosecutors in Miami violated her civil rights when, without consulting her, they offered him a ‘sweetheart’ deal in 2008.
Courtney Wild was among the first of Epstein’s victims to come forward, and has been among the most dogged in her pursuit of justice.
Wild, now a 33-year-old mother of two, has said she was ‘pretty much homeless’ when she was recruited by Epstein’s team in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein was sentenced in 2008 to 18 months in Palm Beach County Jail, but he was able to have his own wing, pay his own guards and leave the jail during the day to go to his office.
Courtney Wild is pictured with her lawyer Brad Edwards in July 2019. She and Edwards are taking their case to the Supreme Court, trying to prove that federal prosecutors acted unlawfully with their 2008 deal with Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein, the pedophile financier, died by suicide in August 2019, aged 66. He had been arrested the month before and was awaiting trial in a New York jail
The deal was agreed without consulting his accusers, and Wild that year sued the U.S. Justice Department, demanding information from federal prosecutors about their investigation of Epstein.
For the next 13 years, Wild continued to fight through the courts.
Her legal action forced the government to admit that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami had already reached a confidential deal with Epstein several months earlier, without informing the alleged victims.
‘Without our case, probably no one would have seen the non-prosecution agreement, the secret agreement,’ said her lawyer, Brad Edwards.
‘Without that action, nobody would have known just how bad [Epstein] and his other co-conspirators were. No one would have ever understood the whole story.’
Epstein is pictured at the White House meeting then-president Bill Clinton in 1993, with Ghislaine Maxwell looking on
Donald and Melania Trump are pictured with Epstein and Maxwell in February 2000 at Mar-a-Lago. Epstein’s property was just down the road from Trump’s Florida resort
In April the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Wild’s case never should have been allowed to proceed.
The majority of judges concluded that the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), enacted by Congress in 2004, did not permit her to sue the Justice Department over Epstein’s controversial agreement, in the absence of an existing criminal prosecution.
‘It’s not the result we like, but it’s the result we think the law requires,’ wrote Judge Kevin Newsom in the majority opinion.
‘Despite our sympathy for Ms. Wild and others like her, who suffered unspeakable horror at Epstein’s hands, only to be left in the dark — and, so it seems, affirmatively misled — by government lawyers, we find ourselves constrained to deny her petition.’
Wild’s attorneys are now petitioning the Supreme Court, arguing that unless the justices step in, the government will be free to sideline victims as it reaches similar non-prosecution agreements with targets of sensitive investigations.
‘Given that the underlying legal issue involves a practice that the Government intends to keep secret, this Court may well face a now-or-never opportunity consider the question presented,’ Wild’s attorneys wrote.
‘It was only due to unusual circumstances that Jeffrey Epstein’s NPA was revealed to the victims — and the public.
‘In future cases, there is no guarantee that the Government will disclose its clandestine NPAs, much less disclose them in a way that would permit the kind of district and appellate court challenges that occurred here.’
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