Let’s be clear about who he was
Gazing at his leering smile in his picture from the Florida sex offender registry, it is easy to imagine Jeffrey Epstein as an abuser of children. He was unapologetic for his behavior, believing children in their early teens to be appropriate sexual conquests for him and his wealthy friends.
Those who looked at his behavior objectively called him a “sex trafficker.” And indeed his behavior seemed to fit the mold. While certain commentators, as well as Epstein and his friends, have sought to minimize the extent to which his behavior constituted sex trafficking, it’s worth noting that there is a reason why children are protected by rape statutes.
Legal sex requires the consent of both parties. Children are unable to consent. Much as a thirteen or fourteen-year-old may believe she is nearly an adult, science has shown that her brain is far from it. No matter how smart she is or competent she seems, her prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that allows us to rationally analyze cause and effect, is not fully developed until she is in her twenties.
The law recognizes this fact. An older man with the full mental and emotional development of an adult is able to manipulate a child into sex simply because she is cognitively unable to match his brain development. She is unable to process his arguments with the same understanding of the ramifications of her decisions as he can.
This has nothing to do with gender. An older woman sleeping with a teenage boy is the same. It is just less common to see women behaving this way.
As a result, it matters not whether the child seems willing. It matters not if he paid her after. An adult having sex with a child is the same as one adult forcing another to have sex at gunpoint. There is no consent because she is unable to consent.
At any rate, Epstein first came to the attention of most of us because our current Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, when he was a U.S. Attorney, intervened in Epstein’s criminal case to give him a ridiculously light sentence. Even more shocking, Epstein’s plea deal protected any coconspirators from charges. In other words, if he was arranging orgies for him and his friends at which teenage girls were victimized, the other participants would likely be protected.
Epstein was proud of his collection of friends. They included both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as countless others among the rich and powerful. While speculation continues regarding the suspicious death of Epstein in prison, supposedly committing suicide at a time he should have been on suicide watch, there are other conspiracies to mine without even engaging that one.
Most interesting to me is how he ended up with such rich and powerful friends. A college drop-out, he was hired to teach math at a prep school run by Attorney General William Barr’s father. He left that job under suspicious circumstances, ultimately starting his own financial management firm.
Epstein, although having impressive math skills, seemed out of his league in the world of finance. Despite this, he landed a couple of very wealthy clients who would enrich him. The most notable of these was the founder of The Limited stores, Leslie Wexner.
But Wexner’s friends and employees could not understand why Wexner was so enamored with Epstein. “Everyone was mystified as to what his appeal was,” said one of Wexner’s chief business lieutenants, Robert Morosky. “I checked around and found out he was a private high school math teacher, and that was all I could find out. There was just nothing there.”
Perhaps most amazing was how Epstein ended up with one of the most valuable single-family homes in Manhattan. Initially purchased by a partnership with Wexner, it was ultimately transferred to Epstein for… nothing.
Think about that. Epstein got one of the nation’s most expensive homes for free from a billionaire. That’s some kind of friendship.
Indeed, it appears that much of Epstein's fortune was built by rich people giving him money seemingly for nothing. It makes you wonder just what he was doing in exchange.
There is already a lot of speculation as to why people gave Epstein so much money, but I’m going to add to it here. To me, it’s obvious that it had to do with sex. So many of his powerful friends, including Clinton and Trump, have been credibly accused of sexual assault. Apparently, what Epstein had in common with his friends was a view of girls that they exist simply for the personal pleasure of the men. With his plea deal, Epstein protected those he partied with. Is it too far beyond one’s imagination to believe that Epstein might have hosted orgies for these men featuring young girls and that he then held that over the head of his “friends?”
We have video of Epstein and Trump at a party leering over young girls dancing. I was disgusted by the video. But it appears that the two of them along with another middle-aged man were having a great time. Could this have been the tactic Epstein used to recruit wealthy and powerful clients for his dubious financial services?
Epstein bragged that he had dirt on powerful people. Of course, with his death, we will never know what he knew, fueling the speculation of a conspiracy. But if he was supplying young girls for the pleasure of dirty, old, rich and powerful men in exchange for money, then he was a pimp and sex trafficker, pure and simple.
At the risk of speaking ill of the dead, it’s time to call a spade a spade. Until we stop couching such disgusting behavior in civilized terms, we will never fully eliminate it.
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