Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York ruled that documents will be released that will publicly identify associates of Jeffrey Epstein related to underage sex trafficking.
The documents will be released on Jan. 1.
Preska made the ruling as a part of a civil lawsuit against Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre who claimed she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced billionaire.
Giuffre claimed in the defamation lawsuit filed in 2015 that Maxwell “wrongfully subjected Giuffre to public ridicule, contempt and disgrace.” Although the case was settled under undisclosed terms in 2017, Maxwell was charged with perjury over statements she made while under oath.
In June 2022, Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking Epstein’s victims. Prosecutors said that Maxwell helped Epstein procure girls as young as 14 years old to be sexually assaulted at his various properties from 1994 until 2004.
Maxwell’s attorneys argued that she was also a victim of Epstein’s schemes.
The names that will be released may include Epstein’s employees as well as his victims, although names of minor victims may continue being redacted.
Preska had previously said that hundreds could be implicated by the release of documents, though current reports said that about 150 names will be contained in the files to be released.
“In some of these documents there are literally a thousand people,” she said in 2019.
Giuffre said she was recruited to Epstein’s sex abuse ring when she was only 16 years old and was forced to have sex with his prominent guests and associates. She accused Prince Andrew of being one of those abusers, and he also settled a lawsuit by her related to the claims.
“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years,” read a letter from Prince Andrew’s attorney. “Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”
Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019. Officials said he committed suicide, but the extraordinary nature of the case has led to the proliferation of conspiracy theories speculating that he was murdered in order to protect those who participated in sexual assault.
One report from June said that Epstein had told a prison psychologist that he had a “wonderful life” and “would be crazy” to commit suicide.
Here’s more about the judge’s ruling:
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