US

Epstein accusers can’t receive damages over plea deal

US District Judge Kenneth Marra ordered the case brought by Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 against the US closed, ruling the federal government doesn't owe them any money, and that the court couldn't invalidate provisions in the plea deal relating to any alleged co-conspirators because they weren't a party to the case. The validity of those provisions "will have to be litigated with their participation if any prosecution against them is ever brought," Marra wrote. "Any decision by this court on that question is meaningless without their participation in this proceeding." The judge in February ruled that the government had violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA) when it failed to notify them of the nonprosecution agreement it had entered into with Epstein in 2007.But the accusers' request for restitution is "essentially a request for money damages from the Government, which is not allowed under the CVRA," Marra said in his opinion. An attorney for the accusers said they may appeal the ruling."We are exploring all options for continuing the fight, including the possibility of an appeal," Brad Edwards said in a statement. The nonprosecution agreement between Epstein and federal prosecutors in Florida allowed the financier to plead guilty to prostitution, a lesser crime, instead of facing prosecution on sex trafficking charges.Epstein, 66, died in jail August 10 while he was waiting to be tried on federal charges of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls, some as young as 14. His death was ruled a suicide.Jeffrey Epstein's accusers had their day in court, but not in the way they had hopedEven though the victims did not receive the outcome they sought, they can "take solace" that the case brought national attention to the Crime Victim's Rights Act, the judge wrote."Of course, this iRead More – Source

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