Age of victim in prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein, long a source of confusion, eased his obligations to register as a sex offender…
The federal investigation into sexual misconduct by sex trafficking serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein flagged scores of potential underage victims, including the 14-year-old girl who first alerted police.
But when Epstein pleaded guilty in state court in 2008, the only minor he was convicted of soliciting was 16 years old at the time the offenses began, according to information obtained by The Washington Post.
The younger girl who initially notified police has long believed that hers was the case referenced in the guilty plea, her attorney said. Publicly available charging documents contained no name or age. FL state prosecutors recently provided WaPo with the victim’s date of birth.
The decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen — part of his illegal sweetheart plea deal — eased his obligations to register as a sex offender. In NM, where Epstein has a 7,600-acre property, he is not required to register because his victim was not under 16
Attorneys for the alleged victims are seeking to void the non-prosecution agreement, which ended the federal probe and granted immunity to any potential co-conspirators.
“They were cutting a plea deal. It wasn’t a prosecution,” said attorney Spencer Kuvin, who represented the 14-year-old girl who alerted police, referencing the number of victims court records say federal prosecutors identified. “They had a grab bag of 40 girls to choose from.”
He & his client believed she was the victim in the state case in part bc of her role in reporting Epstein.

Kuvin said: “It’s unbelievably upsetting. The rug has been swiped out from under the one girl who was brave enough to come forward & break this thing”
Epstein, now 66, was charged with soliciting a minor between 8-1-04, and 10-9-05. Based on the DOB provided by the state attorney’s office, this victim would have been 16 when the solicitation began & on the eve of her 18th birthday — the age of consent in FL — when it ended.
In some states, the age of consent is a factor in deciding whether a sex offender convicted out of state is required to register.

That needs to change
The age of consent is 16 years old in more than half of the states, according to surveys and government reports, potentially allowing Epstein to own homes in many of those places without having to register.
“Society in general is much more punitive and harsh if the victim was 14 versus 17,” said attorney Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, who was not involved in the Epstein case but belongs to a New York City Bar Association group studying the registration law.
“The collateral consequences, including registration, are much more serious with a younger victim.”…

Miami Herald late last year reported that 80 girls and women say they were victimized by Epstein.

Epstein served 13 months in “jail” on two felony solicitation charges. One involved a minor, and the other makes no reference to a specific victim
In a letter to the editor published this month by the New York Times, several of Epstein’s attorneys wrote that “the number of young women involved in the investigation has been vastly exaggerated.”

ORLY? How would they know?
At his Senate confirmation hearing in March 2017, Acosta said state prosecutors had considered a lesser charge that could have resulted in “zero jail time, zero registration as a sexual offender and zero restitution for the victims in this case.”
Acosta: an agreement that “guarantees that someone goes to jail, that guarantees that someone register generally and that guarantees other outcomes is a good thing.”

No @SecretaryAcosta
In a case of a serial sex trafficking predator who should rot in prison, that’s called a joke
During plea negotiations, the lead prosecutor under Acosta, accused Epstein’s defense of trying to “ ‘fool’ our office into letting Mr. Epstein plead to a non-registerable offense,” according to a letter by Villafana published by Daily Beast in 2011.…
Sex-offender registration is designed to keep predators on a tight leash. In many states, sex offenders cannot live near schools or playgrounds. Their addresses and license plates appear on websites, alerting potential employers & landlords.
A review of records in Epstein’s case shows the difficulty of tracking a sex offender who owns private planes and homes in New York, Paris, Florida, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
A plane-tracking database shows his Gulfstream jet in five states; the Virgin Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Paris between August 2018 and January 2019, though The Post could not confirm his presence on the flights.
Following inquiries from The Post, Epstein’s “permanent” residence as listed on Florida’s online registry has changed three times in recent weeks: from the Virgin Islands to New York City on March 7, to Palm Beach on Tuesday and back to the Virgin Islands on Friday.
Updates to residential information in the database are based on reports from offenders, officials said.
Epstein has met the registration requirements in FL and in the Virgin Islands, authorities said. In the USVI, where he is classified as a low-risk offender, and in FL, his reporting requirements are far less stringent than they are for many other sex offenders, authorities said.
The NY registry lists Epstein’s primary residence as the Virgin Islands, records show.

In the Virgin Islands, he owns a small private island called Little St. James, which he lists as his residence.

In Paris, the sex-offender registry is not public.
The New York registry’s website shows that Epstein has heeded the rule to submit photos annually. Information about whether he is complying with other requirements in New York is not public, an official said.…
In New York, where he owns a 19,000-square-foot mansion in Manhattan, #Epstein’s attorneys went to court in 2011 to challenge a state board’s decision to classify him as posing the highest level of risk, on a scale of 1 to 3.
Asked by the judge about the victim’s age, attorney Sandra Musumeci said the Florida victim and Epstein met when she was 16 or 17. The age of consent in New York is 17.
“She gave him approximately 15 massages, including with sexual contact, and ultimately when she is 17 had intercourse with him,” she said, according to a transcript of the 1/18/11 hearing.

Media coverage of the hearing made little or no mention of the victim’s age.
“She is a child,” said Supreme Court Judge Ruth Pickholz, adding, “He procured her at 16.”
At the 2011 hearing, Musumeci also argued that Epstein primarily lives in the Virgin Islands and maintains only a vacation home in New York City.
“To require Mr. Epstein to register as a Level Three offender in New York would actually require him to come to New York more than he does normally, it would require him to come every 90 days and renew his registration,” she said.
Judge Pickholz, again, was unmoved.

(Dripping with sarcasmic disdain)
“I am sorry he may have to come here every 90 days” she said. “He can give up his New York home if he does not want to come every 90 days.”
NYCPD say Epstein does not have to check in every 90 days because he’s claimed the Virgin Islands as his primary residence, said detective Sophia Mason, a police spokeswoman.

She said the last time Epstein checked in was in 2010.
The judge stands by her interpretation of the law, said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the New York courts. Musumeci did not respond to requests seeking comment.
In 2010, days after Epstein completed his probation under house arrest in Palm Beach, he notified Florida officials that he was heading to his ranch in Santa Fe County.
Authorities in FL, in turn, alerted NM officials, who sent Epstein a letter telling him that “you are a sex offender and that you meet the requirement to register in New Mexico.”
Two days after Epstein registered, state officials reversed course because in his case the law requires registration only if the victim is under the age of 16.

“You are not required to register with the State of New Mexico at this time,” they wrote.
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