Why Jeffrey Epstein Will Not Evade Litigation After Shedding His Mortal Coil

Convicted millionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who over the weekend deprived the world of his company in an apparent suicide and simultaneously deprived the U.S. Attorney’s Office a much-anticipated day in court on federal criminal charges, will not escape litigation after shedding his mortal coil.

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents two of Epstein’s accusers, promised civil action against Epstein’s estate.  So did attorney Roberta Kaplan, who told Reuters she will sue Epstein’s estate under a new New York State law which re-opened the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes.

The new law, called the Child Victim’s Act, did not expressly target an organization or group, nor did Gov. Andrew Cuomo when signing it in mid-February. However, many observed that the Act would open the window for civil lawsuits against institutions such as the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, or sporting organizations, such as those involved with the Larry Nassar sexual abuse cases. Suits against the church have already been promised by some of those who advocated for the Act.

The Act allows civil suits before victims of certain sex crimes turn 55.  It allows cases to move forward so long as they are filed in a one-year window which began six months after the date the law took effect.  The law took effect immediately upon signing Feb. 14th, and the first eligible cases can be filed starting Wednesday, August 14th.  Observers predict an avalanche of litigation to ensue.

Epstein’s lawyers valued his net worth at $559 million in court records filed last month.  It is unclear if he died with or without a will.

 

[Image of Jeffrey Epstein via Mugshot; image of prison via David Dee Delgado/Getty Images.]

Aaron Keller is an attorney licensed in two states. He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. During law school, he completed legal residencies in the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and in a local prosecutor’s office. He was employed as a summer associate in the New Hampshire Department of Safety, which manages the state police, and further served as a summer law clerk for a New York trial judge. Before law school, Keller worked for television stations in New York and in the Midwest, mostly as an evening news anchor and investigative reporter. His original reporting on the Wisconsin murder of Teresa Halbach was years later featured in the Netflix film "Making A Murderer."

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