Officially, Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide on Aug. 10, 2019, while imprisoned in the special housing unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, N.Y., awaiting trial following accusations he was involved in sex-trafficking teenage girls in New York and Florida. The number of girls was reportedly in the dozens.
Unofficially? Conspiracy theories continue to insist Epstein’s demise was not voluntary. Powerful men, it is alleged, had much to lose if Epstein were to be tried and perhaps testify in open court.
WATCH (Jan. 10, 2020): Questions around Jeffrey Epstein death intensify after surveillance video found to ‘no longer exist’
U.S. President Donald Trump fed the conspiracy narrative last August with a retweet of a post making unsubstantiated allegations that top Democrats, including former U.S. president Bill Clinton, had taken private trips to visit Epstein’s “pedophilia island.”
Even the FBI conducted an investigation into Epstein’s death.
Until this week, allegations and accusations against Epstein simmered.
A BBC interview granted late last year by Prince Andrew, ostensibly to answer repeat charges by Virginia Roberts Giuffre that, as a teenager, she had been forced into sex with the prince by Epstein, proved a disaster for Andrew.
On Thursday, the Epstein case took a hugely significant turn.
FBI agents arrested Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s so-called girlfriend and friend to Prince Andrew, at her luxury home in New Hampshire, after which Maxwell was charged with six criminal counts, including trafficking minors for sex and perjury. The indictments accuse Maxwell of grooming three young girls between 1994 and 1997. The youngest was reportedly 14.
It was Maxwell who introduced Epstein to Prince Andrew and is alleged to have set the agenda for the 2001 London encounter between Giuffre and the prince.
If convicted on the charge of trafficking minors for sex, Maxwell would face life in prison.
Maxwell “enticed minor girls, got them to trust her and then delivered them into the trap that she and Jeffrey Epstein had set,” acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, according to the Independent.
As for questioning of the British royal, Strauss added: “We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us. We would like to have the benefit of his statement.”
While the death of Epstein closed the door on direct punishment options for the billionaire, whose private jet was nicknamed the Lolita Express, charges by young women who say they were systematically sexually abused in their teens are now on their way into court, in large part because of the determination and courage of many of these women not to be pushed to the side, ignored and forced to suffer in silence.
Maxwell has much to reveal and answer to.
The world is watching and demanding justice.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.