A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that a list of Jeffrey Epstein’salleged victims and associates —some of whom have been accused of being involved in the disgraced financier’s exploitation and abuse of underage girls— must be unsealed and made public.
More than 150 names may be made public as part of a settled civil lawsuit against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell— who was found guilty of conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse underage girls for at least a decade — brought byVirginia Giuffre,who accused Maxwell of recruiting her for abuse.
Giuffre has called Maxwell “the mastermind” behind Eptein’s sex trafficking ring.
The list of names could include Epstein’s accused co-conspirators as well as a wide range of people listed in the lawsuit.
Giuffre told CBS News in July 2020that Maxwell had access to very well-known people, including “government officials, politicians and royalty.”
Judge Loretta Preska set a release date of Jan. 1 to give the people listed in the court filing enough time to appeal the decision. It is unclear whose names are on the list, but many of them have already been mentioned in the media, Preska noted in her ruling.
What documents will be unsealed?
Judge Preska listed 187 “J. Does” on the court documents and ruled many of them should be “unsealed in full.” Some of those “J.Does” appear twice, and others are minors, so it is not yet known what the final tally of names released will be.
The judge detailed the reasoning behind the publication of the names, noting that many had already been mentioned in the media. For others, the substance in question was not salacious and should not be kept sealed, the rulings said.
Some “J. Does” are minors and possible victims, and Preska ruled that those names and “any identifying information” will remain sealed.
When will the list of names be released?
The ruling stated that the list of names will be made public on Jan. 1, 2024, giving the listed “J. Does” about 14 days to object to the publication of their names.
The ruling allows any “impacted Doe the opportunity to appeal,” the court documents said. After the window to appeal closes, the documents will be unsealed and posted to the docket.
What were the accusations against Epstein?
Epsteinwas accused of sexually assaulting countless teenage girls, some of them as young as 14 years old, according to prosecutors. Epstein allegedly exploited a vast network of underage girls for him and his wealthy clients to have sex with at his homes in Manhattan; Palm Beach, Florida; and his private island near St. Thomas. He was also accused ofutilizing a network of employeesto ensure continued access to victims.
Britain’s Prince Andrew is one of the high-profile figures whohas been accused of being one of Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators. Giuffre has alleged that she and the British royal had sex in three locations when she was underage. Andrew has denied any wrongdoing and has said he didn’t know anything about Epstein’s criminal behavior.
Epstein was charged by federal prosecutors in 2019 with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking with underage females. The 66-year-old financier died by suicide in his jail cellin Manhattan a little over a month after being arrested. Charges against him were dropped after his death.
In June, JPMorgan Chase reached a$290 million settlementwith victims of Epstein over claims the bank overlooked the financier’s sex trafficking and abuse because it wanted to profit from a banking relationship with him.