How Attorney Brad Edwards Brought Jeffrey Epstein to Justice

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Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein, a former financier, died in 2019 by suicide in a jail cell as a notorious pedophile and the center of conspiracy theories, media spotlight, and public fascination. Between the years of 2001 and 2018, he sexually abused and trafficked young women across his multiple properties in Florida, New York, New Mexico, the US Virgin Islands, and France, forcing them to provide sex services to his long list of powerful and famous friends and acquaintances.

In 2008, Courtney Wild hired Edwards Henderson Lehrman Founding Partner Brad Edwards to pursue justice against Epstein for molesting her in his Palm Beach property when she was 14 years old. Since 2008 and long after Epstein's death in 2019, Brad Edwards, with help from Partner Brittany Henderson, has been fighting tirelessly for the rights of Epstein's victims and working to hold Epstein and those who enabled him, accountable for the damage they caused.


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Who Was Jeffrey Epstein?

Jeffrey Epstein started his career as a high school physics teacher before changing occupations and becoming an options trader at Bear Stearns, an investment banking company. Epstein left to start his own firm in 1981, J. Epstein & Co. The company operated out of the US Virgin islands and only accepted clients with over $1 billion in assets, putting him in close contact with the rich and powerful.

Epstein

Living the life of a socialite, Epstein amassed hundreds of millions of dollars and began buying real estate worldwide. He set up a namesake foundation at Harvard, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation. With the foundation, he donated $30 million to Harvard University, gaining him notoriety and praise from university figures like Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer and former Harvard professor who would go on to represent Epstein for his sex crimes allegations in 2007.

Epstein with friend

Among his social circle were notable and influential people like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Victoria’s Secret Founder Leslie Wexner, and Prince Andrew.

Jeffrey Epstein Island

Little Saint James Island, one of two private islands owned by Epstein in the US Virgin Islands, became notorious as the location he would traffic young girls to. With the help of his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein would bring girls as young as 11 to the island, which locals called “pedophile island,” according to Business Insider. These girls were taken to the island under the false premises of a modeling career, work, or educational opportunities. They were often held there against their will, with some survivors recounting Epstein and Maxwell taking their passports away or getting caught as they tried to escape. Many influential and powerful individuals also accompanied Epstein to Little Saint James, including the likes of Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton.

Epstein with friends

Jeffrey Epstein Accusations

The first allegations against Epstein were brought to light in 2005 when a 14-year-old girl reported being molested at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. After the initial report and multiple other young, high school-age girls coming forward to say Epstein hired them to provide sexual massages, Palm Beach police began the process of charging Epstein with multiple counts of unlawful sex with a minor.

Epstein property

According to Business Insider and the Palm Beach Police Department’s probe, the investigator spoke with five alleged victims and 17 witnesses and found that Epstein would lure young girls to his home under the guise that they would be providing massages for payments of between $200 and $1000, which he would quickly turn sexual. Palm Beach police were ready to charge Epstein with multiple counts of sex with a minor, but Palm Beach County’s top prosecutor, state attorney Barry Krischer, sent the case to a grand jury with evidence that only led to a single felony charge of soliciting prostitution.

Alexander Acosta and the DOJ’s Plea Deal With Epstein

This leniency led to the Palm Beach Police Department pressuring the federal government to intervene. In 2006, the FBI opened a separate investigation into the charges being brought against Epstein. As the FBI prepared an indictment, Epstein’s lawyers began negotiating for a plea deal that would allow him to avoid federal charges with then US attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta.

The two parties entered a plea deal in which Epstein would plead guilty to two state-level charges: One for soliciting prostitution and one for soliciting prostitution from a minor. Under a secret arrangement, Acosta agreed not to prosecute Epstein for federal crimes and the victims were never notified of the agreement. In 2008, he was sentenced to 18 months in jail and was allowed to participate in a work-release program where he would leave during the day and return to jail at night.

Attorney Brad Edwards’ Fight Against the Epstein Plea Deal

Following Acosta’s plea deal with Epstein, attorney Brad Edwards filed a lawsuit claiming that the arrangement violated the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act by withholding knowledge of the agreement from the 36 survivors. This began Edwards’ legal crusade to hold Jeffrey Epstein and his associates accountable and gain justice on behalf of the survivors.

Epstein - courtroom

At the center of the lawsuit was Courtney Wild who was 15 when she was assaulted by Epstein. She was named Jane Doe 1 in the 2008 lawsuit. Wild worked with Edwards for 11 years to hold Acosta and his fellow prosecutors accountable for the secret plea deal. From then until Epstein’s death in 2019, Edwards represented more than 60 women in lawsuits against him and his co-conspirators, specifically Ghislaine Maxwell.


Jeffrey Epstein Timeline

For more than a decade Brad Edwards fought to hold Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices accountable for the crimes they committed against vulnerable young women. Below is a timeline of key events that led to Epstein's inevitable downfall.


2008

Epstein’s lawyers strike a plea deal with the DOJ & Alexander Acosta to avoid federal charges. Epstein pleads guilty to two state-level charges of soliciting prostitution and soliciting prostitution from a minor. He is sentenced to 18 months in jail and permitted to leave the jail during the day and return at night under a work-release program.

Brad Edwards
2009

In July 2009, Epstein is released from a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail after serving 13 months out of his 18-month sentence. He was allowed to serve the remaining five months in a work-release program, leaving the jail six days a week for 12 hours a day. That same year, Edwards filed a lawsuit on behalf of Virginia Giuffre against Epstein. Giuffre accused Epstein and Maxwell of trafficking her into sexual encounters with multiple powerful politicians, businessmen, and royalty, including Prince Andrew, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and Governor Bill Richardson.

Epstein
2014

Giuffre files an affidavit as part of the lawsuit stating that she was forced to have sex with Dershowitz. Dershowitz accuses Edwards and Cassell of acting unethically, prompting Edwards and Cassell to sue Dershowitz for defamation, which settled in 2016.

2015

Edwards files a defamation suit on behalf of Giuffre against Maxwell, later settling in 2017.

2018

The Miami Herald revisits the Epstein case and Acosta’s handling of it, revitalizing public interest in the case. At this point, Acosta is serving as Donald Trump’s labor secretary.

Feb, 2019

Edwards wins the case against the DOJ which alleged that it violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act when it made the 2008 plea deal with Epstein. The federal judge in Florida ruled that Acosta and other prosecutors deliberately hid the arrangement from the victims so that neither they nor the public would learn about the deal until after the case closed.

July, 2019

A US appellate judge requested that documents relating to Giuffre’s 2015 defamation claim against Maxwell be unsealed, revealing Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation.

July, 2019

Epstein is arrested on federal sex trafficking charges. Days after Epstein’s arrest, Acosta resigns as labor secretary.

Aug, 2019

Epstein is found dead in a federal jail in New York. The investigation into his cause of death concludes he died by suicide. According to The Guardian, Epstein filed a new will in the US Virgin Islands just two days before he was found dead to protect his half-a-billion dollar fortune from accusers seeking damages.

June, 2020

Despite Epstein’s efforts to shield his wealth from his victims, the survivors’ attorneys and lawyers for the estate agreed to create a fund for the survivors. Edwards Henderson Lehrman¬†attorneys Bradley Edwards and Brittany Henderson were key to establishing the Epstein Victims Compensation Fund.

July, 2020

New York federal prosecutors charge Ghislaine Maxwell with sex crimes, describing her role in recruiting underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.

June, 2022

Ghislaine Maxwell is sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of multiple sex crimes, including sex trafficking.

Epstein Face Side Profile

About The Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund

The Epstein Victims' Compensation Fund was created as a way to provide survivors with compensation for the damages inflicted by Epstein. The confidential program allows individuals to file a claim and if deemed eligible for compensation, could potentially receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of Epstein's roughly $600 million net worth.
Epstein FAQs
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How Brad Edwards Overcame Legal Challenges to Obtain Justice for Epstein’s Survivors

Attorney Brad Edwards’ fight for justice on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking survivors began in 2008. Edwards represented close to 60 women in cases against Epstein, his associates, his estate, and even against the US Department of Justice for Acosta’s plea deal. Among the survivors Edwards represented was Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that she was trafficked by Ghislaine Maxwell and forced to have sex with Epstein, Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew.

The legal battle included not only the survivors but Edwards, too. Epstein even went as far as to threaten Edwards: During an in-person meeting at a Starbucks in Boca Raton, Florida, he told Edwards, “If you keep prosecuting me this way, someone is going to get hurt.”

Epstein sued Edwards in 2008 accusing him of civil racketeering, claiming the attorney lied about sex abuse allegations against Epstein. Edwards responded by filing a malicious prosecution countersuit in Florida. Right before the case was set for trial in December 2018, Epstein settled and apologized to Edwards publicly as a part of the confidential settlement.

Edwards Henderson Lehrman Continues to Stand With Sexual Abuse Survivors

Edwards Henderson Lehrman is committed to advocating on behalf of sexual abuse survivors. To date, our law firm has recovered multiple multi-million dollar verdicts on their behalf, including some of the largest sexual abuse verdicts ever recorded. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a sex abuse attorney, contact our sex abuse law firm today.