Speed Reads

Wow

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged trafficking victims won't share their stories in court anymore

Jeffrey Epstein could've faced dozens of his alleged trafficking victims in a trial set to start Tuesday. Instead, a settlement is sparing him from what could've been days of emotional testimonies from women who say they were forced into sex with the Florida millionaire and his friends as teenagers, Law and Crime reports.

More than a decade ago, Epstein was accused of building a "cult-like network" of girls coerced into sexual acts. That massive suit ended thanks to then-Florida prosecutor and current Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who arranged a plea deal that subjected Epstein to just 13 months in jail, the Miami Herald detailed. The deal was kept secret from and suppressed the stories of about 80 women who had similar accounts of abuse by Epstein.

Epstein had since sued Bradley Edwards, who represented some of Epstein's alleged victims, saying Edwards "ginned up accusations ... as part of an illegal scheme to lure investors," The Washington Post writes. Edwards countersued, "alleging malicious prosecution and defamation" by the millionaire, per Law and Crime. Jury selection for the trial was set to begin Tuesday, but was halted when both sides agreed to a confidential settlement in which Epstein admitted his allegations against Edwards "were absolutely false."

Much like Epstein's first plea deal, Tuesday's settlement silenced his alleged victims once again. Women now in their 20s and 30s who were expected to share how they were violated in their teenage years won't have a chance to testify anymore. But in a press conference, Edwards still claimed the settlement was a victory for them, saying The Miami Herald's reporting already had those stories covered.