The dark saga of Jeffrey Epstein’s life should be deeply disturbing to us all. We must establish exactly how he executed a vast and long-running underage sex ring which included several locations and a handful of accomplices.
With the latest news that the FBI has arrested Epstein’s longtime girlfriend and alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell in New Hampshire Thursday, people across the world are wondering if the moment of reckoning is coming for the rest of this powerful criminal network.
These events are not just about Epstein or Maxwell. This is not the story of a “lone wolf” sex offender evading justice. The accusations against Epstein and Maxwell span decades and continents and could potentially implicate powerful and connected people from around the globe, including the Clintons, Prince Andrew and Alan Dershowitz among others.
Epstein had several luxurious properties in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Santa Fe, New Mexico and London, which he used to traffic underage girls for the pleasure of himself, Maxwell and presumably his bevvy of high society friends. For years, Maxwell’s job was to establish trust with the girls and feed them into Epstein’s predatory process. As the indictment indicates, she is accused of “helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse ” girls as young as 14. Often she took part in the sexual encounters.
As odious as Maxwell’s alleged misdeeds are, they are but the tip of an iceberg of exploitation committed by Epstein’s circle, and the impunity of these criminals must, finally come to an end. Epstein himself was able to evade justice through suspect deals with law enforcement and his high-level political connections. Ultimately, his extremely suspicious suicide, which was allowed to occur in prison, dashed hopes that he would bring down other high-profile abusers with him.
Now that Maxwell’s time has come to face the music, the public is rightfully looking forward to a full accounting of how these crimes were permitted to continue for so long with so many of the rich and powerful turning a blind eye. If she, too, ends up mysteriously meeting an untimely end, the outrage will be palpable.
The Epstein saga for many Americans represents everything that is wrong with our elite institutions: our political establishment, our venerable halls of education, our criminal justice system. All of them fail to perform the most basic of duties to protect the vulnerable from the powerful. The rules of a decent society do not seem to apply to the wealthy and well connected.
Maxwell’s arrest is a second chance for the authorities to redeem themselves and get this one right. Not only should she be held accountable for abusing young women who put their trust in her, but every person or agency that participated, looked the other way, or bent the rules for Epstein needs to go down. There will be many, but no one should feel safe from the consequences of enabling sex trafficking in America.
Let us hope that prosecutors take full advantage of this opportunity and chase down every last one of them.