Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein with tweets praising Brown overlaid.

Julie K. Brown, the Journalist Who Broke the Jeffrey Epstein Cover-Up Story, Is Getting the Praise She Deserves

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Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted child abuser and billionaire with very powerful friends, has been arrested and again charged with sexually exploiting dozens of young women and girls, some as young as 14. These seem to be at least primarily the same crimes he was convicted of in Florida in 2007 and Epstein’s lawyers are arguing that the prosecutors are trying to get a “do-over” of the last case.

It sounds like these new charges are avoiding double jeopardy laws by focusing more specifically on the crimes that took place in Epstein’s New York mansion, as well as possibly investigating Florida victims who were not included in the first case. But honestly, if it were a total do-over, it’s hard to argue that that wouldn’t be warranted (morally speaking–again, there are laws in place to prevent that).

As we now know, the plea agreement Epstein received–13 months in a private wing of a county jail, during which time he got to work full-time out of a comfortable office–was due to the illegal dealings of Alexander Acosta, then the prosecutor (not Epstein’s lawyer) in the case and now Donald Trump’s secretary of labor. And we know about those dealings thanks to journalist Julie K. Brown, who broke the story in the Miami Herald last year.

What Brown uncovered about that plea agreement is astounding. It’s not just the light jail sentence in a case that should by all accounts have come with a life sentence. The deal included immunity for any of Epstein’s “co-conspirators” in these crimes, despite the fact that those conspirators were not named in the case. That clearly seems to indicate that there were some powerful people who were concerned their names might come out later, and Acosta was issuing them protection as well as Epstein.

We know that Epstein’s circle of friends (he calls it a “collection”) is large and includes powerful people. Journalist Vicky Ward says that Vanity Fair’s editor Graydon Carter cut her reports of Epstein’s abuses from a 2003 profile because he knew Epstein was “clearly very sensitive about the women.”

Carter, by the way, tried to throw Ward under the bus but both she and other reporters have some receipts.

Epstein’s “collection” of friends also includes men like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, the UK’s Prince Andrew and many more. These are men that partied with Epstein in his homes and his private plane. Alex Acosta tried to protect these men or others like them–those who either took part in these crimes or helped him cover them up. But thanks to Brown’s reporting, hopefully some of that web will soon be unravelling. She did amazing work and she deserves a Pulitzer and every other possible accolade for it. For now, at least she’s getting her due credit on Twitter.

(image: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.