Friday, 13 Dec 2019

Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pedophile island’ raided by golf-cart-riding FBI agents: reports

Jeffrey Epstein‘s private island was raided Monday by FBI agents who traversed the property in golf carts and seized computers, according to reports.

The raid came as attention in his case turns to co-conspirators who allegedly helped him round up young women for nude or semi-nude massages that turned into sex acts.

Little St. James Island is a private property in the Virgin Islands that has, on occasion, been referred to as “pedophile island” after the financier was prosecuted between 2007 and 2008 on charges of soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution — charges that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement.

The authorities hadn’t initially covered the island when Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges in early July, but they descended on the island Monday, fanning out in golf carts and snapping up evidence, a source in the Virgin Islands told The Miami Herald.

At least three computers were seized as part of the raid, according to drone footage obtained by NBC News.

The network noted that the raid took place around the same time that Attorney General William Barr said that the case against Epstein would carry on against “anyone who was complicit,” the network noted.

“Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,” he said Monday.

Evidence picked up in this raid could prove crucial in any case against people who allegedly helped Epstein recruit young women, reported the Herald. 

Before he was found dead, Epstein had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy in connection with events that allegedly took place between 2002 and 2005.

Federal prosecutors alleged that he lured girls as young as 14 to homes in New York and Florida in that time frame.

The indictment against Epstein mentioned at least three employees who allegedly helped Epstein procure victims at both properties.

One of these employees was allegedly directed by Epstein to contact victims for encounters at the financier’s home in New York City.

Two others allegedly scheduled encounters at his home in Palm Beach.

Prosecutors also alleged in the indictment that Epstein paid some victims to recruit other girls so that he could sexually exploit them.

With the spotlight turning to co-conspirators, scrutiny is beginning to fall on Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who has been accused of recruiting and grooming girls for Epstein.

Maxwell has been named by at least one Epstein accuser of having acted as a “madam” for the financier and “assisted in internationally trafficking” numerous girls for sexual encounters.

— With files from Andrew Russell

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