On the heels of an explosive report from WPTV about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s work release privileges more than a decade ago, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has announced that it will be investigating itself.
Brad Edwards, an attorney representing women who say Epstein sexually abused them, said this week at press conference that Epstein used his work release privileges to engage in “improper sexual contact.”
Epstein, you may have heard, was allowed to leave the jail for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week on work release at his office after securing a secretive non-prosecution agreement from former federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta’s office. Acosta, when taking questions at a press conference ahead of resigning from his Labor Secretary post, shifted blame from himself to the state for these work release privileges. “The work release was complete BS,” he said. Esptein was accused of sexually abusing dozens of young girls, but instead of being hit with federal charges that could have locked him up for life upon conviction, he pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting prostitution from a minor (Acosta admitted these girls were “victims” not “prostitutes”).
In any event, Edwards’s claim that Epstein wasn’t really in jail and that he “engaged in very similar conduct to that which was described in the Palm Beach police report”–conduct that “was sexual in nature”–got news outlets digging some more. What WPTV came up with:
Contact 5 went through 464 pages of deputy logs, which deputies working Epstein’s detail were required to keep.
We saw they took him to his house at least nine times while he was on work release, and left him in his home unsupervised for up to three hours sometimes. Contact 5 is digging into these deputy logs because just this week, a lawyer representing some of Epstein’s victims claimed more than one woman was propositioned by Epstein while visiting him during work release hours at his office.
Summary: convicted sex-offender who abused young girls was allowed to sit at home unsupervised for hours.
That’s not all:
Deputy logs show Epstein was escorted to his home by deputies at least 9 times. He sometimes spent two or three hours inside while a deputy provided/maintained/conducted security outside his home.
On July 11, 2009 for example, a deputy wrote that he escorted Epstein to his house and “provided security to prevent unwelcome guest from entering his property.” He brought him back more than two hours later. That same deputy contacted his sergeant to “get some clarity of my duties and responsibilities while at the residence. He stated the function was to provide security.”
Summary: Deputies escorted Epstein to his house multiple times, and were there to “provide security.” Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, told the news outlet that “Sex offenders are not allowed to go on work release,” adding “Epstein registered as a sex offender after he was released from jail.” (Huh? Convicted sex offenders can go free if they haven’t registered yet?)
Deputies working security were reportedly ordered to wear plain clothes, ordered to “greet inmate Epstein upon his arrival,” and ordered to “follow [Epstein] into the office, and remain in the office with him at all times.”
It should be noted that the Miami Herald reported in Nov. 2018 that a deputy who “worked Epstein’s [security] detail” said it wasn’t their job to keep an eye on what Esptein was doing at his office while out of jail. The visitor logs reportedly showed both male and female visitors:
One deputy who often worked Epstein’s detail said that his assignment was to stay in a front reception room of Epstein’s office. Epstein was in a separate office — with the door closed — most of the day as he accepted visitors, both male and female, the deputies’ logs show.
“It was not our job to monitor what he was doing in that office,’’ the deputy, now retired, told the Herald.
Brad Edwards said that Epstein used these opportunities not for “some business arrangement” but for “improper sexual contact.”
“Once there, he used his perfect master manipulation to turn the situation into something sexual,” Edwards added. “Not one of the individuals was a prostitute.”
Well, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has launched an internal investigation.
The statement: “Today, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw ordered an Internal Affairs investigation into the Jeffery [sic] Epstein matter. Sheriff Bradshaw takes these matters very seriously and wants to determine if any actions taken by the deputies assigned to monitor Epstein during his work release program violated any agency rules and regulations, during the time he was on PBSO work release program. All aspects of the matter will be fully investigated to ensure total transparency and accountability.”
Bradshaw’s bio shows that he was first elected sheriff in 2004, and that he has been re-elected ever since.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman on Thursday ordered Epstein to remain jailed ahead of trial on child sex-trafficking charges in New York. Berman wrote at one point that Epstein’s “alleged excessive attraction to sexual conduct with or in the presence or minor girls — which is said to include his soliciting and receiving massages from young girls and young women perhaps as many as four times a day — appears likely to be uncontrollable.”
[Image via New York Sex Offender Registry]
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