Why didn’t Jeffrey Epstein move?

My Facebook feed is lit up with posts regarding Jeffrey Epstein. Example:

My current guess: Trump’s tweet was his standard distraction from something awful by starting something even more awful. He may not even have meant to do it by being an obvious racist: just to whip up some boilerplate outrage that his base would love and that journalists would eat up. The question: distraction from what? My guess: Jeffrey Epstein.

One practical question: Why did Mr. Epstein spend any time in New York, Florida, or the U.S. after his 2005-2008 encounters with the criminal justice system?

Wikipedia shows that the age of consent in New York is 17 and in Florida is 18. What is illegal “sex with a child” in these states, however, might be legal (albeit sleazy) in adjacent states such as New Jersey (16) and Georgia (16).

Once he read the news about prominent men (e.g., Bill Cosby) prosecuted and/or convicted for decades-old offenses, why didn’t Epstein get in his Gulfstream and buy into citizenship in a European country that won’t extradite its citizens? France (age of consent: 15) or Germany (age of consent: 14; legal prostitution)?


Posted in Sex

12 thoughts on “Why didn’t Jeffrey Epstein move?

  1. My guesses:

    This was longstanding behavior involving rich and famous people and Epstein:
    1) Never dreamed he would be successfully prosecuted.
    2) Thought if he was prosecuted for something he could wrangle his way off the hook because there were too many other Big People involved for him to go up the river alone.
    3) Structured his organization and all the people around him involved in the procurement of the girls and so forth, so that everyone was held to the highest secrecy.
    4) He apparently kept his victims quiet with relatively small amounts of cash and perks, which nobody really noticed. I read that he instructed one of his people to keep a couple grand in cash around. It really didn’t take much to keep these girls quiet. Nobody notices a “billionaire” with a couple grand in cash in the house.
    5) He kept a lot of evidence that he could use for blackmail if anyone so much as ever dared a make a peep about what they thought was going on. Blackmail is a very effective tool for people with multimillion dollar net worths. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had hidden cameras and microphones everywhere.
    6) The people he brought into this hideous nightmare were milarly protective, and thought they were similarly invulnerable.

    Remember Eliot Spitzer? Talking about cracking down on sex trafficking in news conferences?

    Your observations about the age of consent, etc. and in some European countries may have actually been an added “spice” for this scumbag. Meaning: “Hey, I’m not doing anything different than hundreds of other scumbag Europeans and many others all around the world. I’ve just gotten good at it here in the United States. My friends love me, and if they stop loving me, they’ll wish they were never born.” There was no reason for him to stop doing what he was doing, even after a little heat got thrown at him. In fact, I think he kept doing business as usual because it would have made him stand out even more, people would have gotten nervous, and he thought his problems were over. Why change anything?

    I’m sure all the details are even more lurid. I wonder if there’s more about Robert Menendez coming. So far that connection has gotten very little attention. Menendez is pretty good, though. Nothing sticks to him.

  2. It’s also worth adding that Epstein chose to exploit the girls he did precisely because of their obscurity, vulnerability and many other aspects of their adolescent psychology. He chose “nobodies” and he deliberately and carefully chose them because of their background, where they lived, their economic situation, and many other factors. It was diabolical. He didn’t go after people who would be missed or who would complain, or whose parents would wonder why they had a new phone and a few extra hundred dollars. Kids are so easily influenced to begin with. He was no ordinary pedophile – for a relative pittance to him, he sucked these girls into – literally! – a sick and twisted Fantasy Island full of things they had never seen and could never have in their own lives. And I dare say that if any of them had started giving him real trouble, he could have made them disappear.

    As far as moving is concerned, I think after the 2005-2008 legal troubles, he figured he had the All Clear. And for more than another decade, he pretty much did. Why leave?

    • “He was no ordinary pedophile” – was he even a pedophile at all? Pedophilia involves prepubescent children.

    • @Sam: OK, maybe you’re technically correct, he didn’t fit the definition, but I’m unmoved by that. Mr. Epstein was given a lot of flexibility over the years, even during the “dark times.” He certainly wasn’t held to the same definitions as others. In the Acosta Nonprosecution Plea Agreement:

      “More precisely, for his NPA plea Epstein was allowed to select his victim and plead guilty to procuring for prostitution an older 17-year old minor girl (whose age when molested was not precisely stated), rather than the original 14-year old complainant.”

      Nice! Pick your victim!

      He also didn’t really fit most definitions of “prisoner” from 2008-2011:

      “In June 2008, after Epstein pleaded guilty to a state charge (one of two) of procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18 ,[53] he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Instead of being sent to state prison as are the majority of sex offenders convicted in Florida, Epstein was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County Jail. He was able to hire his own security detail and was allowed “work release” to his downtown office for up to 12 hours a day six days a week.[54] Despite a rule forbidding work release for sex offenders, he was given such privileges by the Palm Beach Sheriff on the pretext that he had not yet registered as a sex offender. He served 13 months before being released for a year of probation. While on probation he was allowed numerous trips on his corporate jet to his residences in Manhattan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[55]”

      So he got some pretty flexible definitions along the way. I apologize to the dictionary.

    • I’m not defending his criminal behavior or subsequent apparent under-prosecution – just pointing out that pedophilia involves sex with children, not adolescents/teenagers.

    • @Sam: It was a poor choice of terms on my part. I should have said: “he was no ordinary sex offender….”

    • Speaking of terms: I couldn’t help but laugh when I read some of the arguments back and forth about Berman’s decision to deny bail because he’s a “significant flight risk”. His private jet has been dubbed “Lolita Express” but I think “Flight Risk” is much better.

  3. In order to abandon US citizenship you need to pay taxes on all your assets as if you sold them so presumably he decided that the cost of doing this outweighed the chances of prosecution and conviction.

    • He could have just moved to Europe without renouncing his citizenship, but the US enforces a world-wide age of consent of 16 for all of its citizens, even outside its jurisdiction. Therefore, he would have become another Roman Polanski. Then again, I can think of worse things.

  4. I really don’t understand people like Epstein taking such stupid risks. I mean, couldn’t he have just gotten 18+ year old women? There are plenty of willing 18+ women who are willing to get paid, just look at the SugarDaddy phenomenon. Why didn’t he just offer an “Epstein college scholarship for women – just visit my island for 2 weeks and give massages, and I’ll pay part of your student debt”. Would have been a lot easier.

    Was it really necessary to go for 16 year olds?

Comments are closed.