The women who accused the late financier Jeffrey Epstein of rape, sexual abuse and related crimes won’t get to see the alleged sex trafficker go to trial in New York after he took his own life in jail last month. However, some are attempting to get justice in the only way they can — by suing his estate. That estate is valued at a minimum of $577 million, according to a will he signed just days before his death.
Thanks to New York’s new Child Victims Act, which temporarily rescinds the statute of limitations on child sex abuse lawsuits, more suits against the estate are expected in the coming months. Epstein pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges against him, some of which involved girls in their early teens.
Three women filed lawsuits anonymously last month in Manhattan federal court. They’re seeking an unspecified amount of damages for the trauma, humiliation and anguish they say they continue to experience because of what Epstein did to them. Two of the plaintiffs say they were just 17 when Epstein first assaulted them. The other was 20.
One of the women says that Epstein assaulted her while he was serving a 13-month sentence in Florida for similar offenses. According to the suit, “Jeffrey Epstein, through his brazen and powerful organization, was quite literally able to commit federal sex trafficking offenses at his work release office, during his jail sentence.”
The women told similar stories in their separate lawsuits. They said that Epstein promised financial, career and other assistance to them and their families and that he seemed, at least initially, to take an interest in their well-being. He told them they would meet prominent men from the political and business worlds who could help them. However, they say they ended up in sexual servitude to Epstein.
The Child Victims Act offers new hope to victims who were prevented from taking action against their rapists and abusers in the past. However, it’s essential to understand the time constraints of the new law. An experienced attorney can help you seek justice and compensation.