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County Judge Releases Epstein Documents That Were Sealed For 16 Years

A Palm Beach County judge today unsealed grand jury records from a 2008 criminal case involving Jeffrey Epstein, the Miami Herald reports.

The roughly 200-page records were kept secret for 16 years and include testimony from at least one girl who accused Epstein of sexually abusing her. according to According to the outlet, he avoided serious charges because Palm Beach prosecutors at the time “chose to charge him with the lesser offense of prostitution instead of charging him with felony sexual assault.”

The convicted pedophile was found dead in his jail cell in 2019 after being rearrested on sex trafficking charges. Ghislaine Maxwell, who had close ties to Epstein, was later convicted on sex trafficking charges.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill requiring the release of 2006 grand jury records in the Florida investigation starting July 1. press release From Governor DeSantis' office: A press release explaining why the documents were not made public until now:

“State prosecutors at the time chose to present their evidence to a grand jury rather than directly indict Mr. Epstein, which allowed the names of those involved and the details of the allegations to be kept confidential,” the press release said.

In 2008, Epstein was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 12 months of house arrest, PBS reported. reportEpstein was forced to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution and engaging in prostitution, according to the media.

“What happened was clearly wrong and the punishment is totally inadequate for the crime,” DeSantis was quoted as saying. (RELATED: DeSantis to approve release of Epstein grand jury documents)

A third round of unsealed court documents, released in January, contained graphic descriptions of the victim's alleged sexual abuse by the defendant while she was under his care. landPrevious documents have also included the names of prominent figures such as former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.

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