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It was a crisp, gray day in January when I stepped out of my Uber onto what looked like industrial wasteland, a concrete-scape dotted with smokestacks and graffitied shipping containers. I pushed through the glass door of an old brick factory and found myself inside the pristine white walls of the Know any of these woman Contemporary arts center. In the lobby, I waited until a petite woman with jet black hair walked in with her Yorkshire terrier, Mozie. This was Rina Oh, and she had asked me to meet her at the studio space in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she paints and sculpts.
A recurring subject of her art is Jeffrey Epstein, the well-connected financier who died in a New York jail cell inwhile being held on sex-trafficking charges. She knew him personally—as someone who was in a romantic relationship with Epstein that came to include finding other women for him to meet. Oh, now 42, told me she had met Epstein in She was 21 at the time and living in the New York suburbs with her parents when a friend introduced her to the man who would become what Oh described as a rich, older boyfriend.
Epstein even offered to pay for her to attend classes at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and, for a time, secured a studio for her in SoHo. Oh might have been creeped out, but she complied with the requests: She told me she introduced three young adult women to Epstein. Marijke Chartouni, a friend whom Oh introduced to Epstein when she was 20, told me she was sexually assaulted by both Oh and Epstein in her first, and only, encounter with him. She was 17 at the time. Ultimately, Oh said the women she brought to Epstein wanted to meet him and that she did not know what would happen once she introduced them.
Still, Chartouni and Giuffre say they believe Oh was complicit in the abuse they suffered. Jeffrey Epstein has become a near-universal villain in the public eye. Dozens of women, some of whom were as young as 14 at the time, have Know any of these woman him of molesting them over two decades, primarily in the s and s, in Florida, New York and New Mexico, as well as on his private Caribbean island.
Other influential men were friends with Epstein or accepted his money. Dozens of these women worked for Epstein, formally or informally. If you think of this group as a pyramid, at the top sits Maxwell, a longtime Epstein employee and confidante who now stands accused of recruiting minors for Epstein and sex-trafficking a year-old girl, charges she denies. Below her were women Epstein employed as assistants, who allegedly scheduled and managed dozens of minors for Epstein to abuse.
There were also women like Oh who brought friends to meet Epstein and received gifts or access to his wealth. But his victims say they were key to grooming and deceiving them and allowing Epstein to operate with impunity. Often, victims say, it was the women around Epstein who tried to make them feel comfortable, as if what they were experiencing was normal or harmless. Once Epstein began to face legal scrutiny, other women made it easier for him to rehabilitate himself and reemerge with his power and social cachet largely intact.
Two women served as the lead prosecutors on his case when he first faced charges, inand were closely involved in crafting his federal non-prosecution agreement, plea deal and lenient sentence. After his release, a of female socialites and professionals helped to welcome Epstein, by then a registered sex offender, back into elite circles.
His abuse then continued, court documents assert. To point this out is not to excuse any of the men or prestigious institutions— universitiesbanksfunds —that also helped to protect Epstein, nor is it meant to hold women to a higher standard. Epstein wielded his power, wealth and age over women who were both victims and victimizers, and he worked to convert the former into the latter, leaning on the women he lured in to find more adult and teenage women for him.
Epstein eventually dumped her after she refused to meet some of his friends for dinner. More than three years into the MeToo movement, the Epstein saga offers an extreme—and still evolving—example of how complex questions of responsibility can get in cases of sexual abuse. Still, exactly how Jeffrey Epstein got away with years of abuse remains an open question—one many of his victims are still working to expose. Answering it requires understanding the complicated motivations and actions of the many women around him.
Her involvement with Epstein has been detailed in media reports and court documents, including as part of a defamation lawsuit Giuffre filed against Maxwell in At first, they were just dating. InEpstein began paying Maxwell to manage his various properties and staff. They embraced and then stepped into his home, where they sat on his tufted couch and recounted how Maxwell had recruited her for Epstein. Alessi, who had not ly spoken to the media about Epstein, told me that one day in he was driving Maxwell around Palm Beach, where Epstein owned one of several homes, to find teenage girls, a regular occurrence.
Giuffre told me she Know any of these woman she had landed a dream job. In court documents and in interviews, other victims, too, have said Maxwell participated in their abuse and sometimes photographed it. Maxwell came across as self-possessed, her confidence almost putting those around her at ease. Maria Farmer, 51, worked for Epstein and Maxwell in the s, helping Epstein acquire art and greeting guests at his Manhattan townhouse, she wrote in a affidavit ; she met Epstein at an art show where some of her work was on display.
She told me that each day, when the bells chimed at the nearby prep school, Maxwell would call her town car. She said Maxwell would bring her Yorkshire terrier, Max, and they would circle the East 70s. When Maxwell spotted a teen, she would order the driver to pull over. Farmer has her own story about Maxwell, as well: In her affidavit, she accused Maxwell and Epstein of sexually assaulting her in InEpstein gave her a multimillion-dollar townhouse on the Upper East Side.
Along the way, she reportedly introduced him to many of the influential people in his Rolodex. In March, she faced new charges of sex-trafficking a minor for Epstein and paying her. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty and now sits in a Brooklyn jail cell awaiting her trial, which is scheduled for November.
Some even told me they feel more betrayed by Maxwell than by Epstein, because she was the one who recruited them in the first place. None of this would have been possible just with Maxwell riding around in a car. None of these Know any of these woman has been charged with wrongdoing connected to Epstein, but they have been named in legal documents and by victims.
Wild was just 14, still in middle school with a mouth full of braces. But I just kind of went with the flow of what everybody else was doing.
Once she was recruited, Wild says she was told she had another option: Instead of having sex with Epstein, she could be paid to recruit others. This spread throughout the school. Although Palm Beach is known for its wealth, surrounding towns are less affluent. Wild was living in a trailer park at the time with a mother who struggled with addiction.
She told me she feared she would become homeless without the money she was earning from Epstein. Kellen visited Epstein during and after his first incarceration multiple times, according to prison records. After Epstein was jailed in Florida, she visited him at least 54 times, according to media reports. According to a Palm Beach police reportEpstein once told a victim that he had purchased Marcinkova at age 15 from her family in Yugoslavia to be his sex slave. Ross, 38, who also has gone by Adriana Mucinska, has avoided commenting about her association with Epstein, including refusing to answer questions in a deposition.
She did not respond to requests for comment. But multiple victims have told me the provision has made them more reluctant to apply for restitution. Even the adult recruiters were still much younger than Epstein. And, insidiously, Epstein often tasked the minors he abused with bringing their friends to him, too. People that knew about him wanted to meet him. And I brought those people there, period. Today, Oh says Epstein abused both her and Chartouni in the encounter, which is part of the reason she is seeking victim compensation herself.
Camille Biroswho helped to set up the Epstein compensation fund but is not involved in determining its payouts, said adult women like Oh could be eligible for compensation based on factors such as the frequency and level of abuse they faced, its impact, whether they were threatened and what kind of corroboration is provided.
Anita Teekah, senior director of the anti-trafficking program at the New York nonprofit Safe Horizon, added that it is not unusual for sex traffickers to enlist their victims as recruiters to protect themselves from legal jeopardy. Biros also said she believes unequivocally that any minor who brought others to Epstein is not at fault. Giuffre and Wild, for example, both of whom came from disadvantaged families, were tasked with finding friends for Epstein. W hen Epstein faced charges in Florida, many of his victims cooperated with investigators, hoping to see him brought to justice.
Instead, they came away feeling betrayed by the justice system, including two female prosecutors ased to oversee their case. InEpstein was charged in Palm Beach Know any of these woman with solicitation of prostitution, to which he pleaded not guilty. Despite the fact that, between the Palm Beach police and the FBI, dozens of victims were identified, Epstein was offered a plea deal in that allowed him to spend just 13 months in a county jail, in his own wing with private security and with work release six days per week. Both acted under the direction of their respective male bosses, but, importantly, they served as the point of contact with the victims and their lawyers, who say they often felt ignored and misled.
The two women were handed compelling evidence. The late detective Joe Recarey of the Palm Beach Police Department investigated for more than Know any of these woman year, identifying five teenage victims and 17 witnesses.
Yet, according to an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement FDLEthe of which were released this weekBelohlavek did not interview a single victim to build the case against Epstein. He said Belohlavek would not use his clients as witnesses, even though a police report from one of them had launched the case. When the negotiations fell through, Krischer called a grand jury to decide whether to charge Epstein—a rare move for a sex crime in Florida, and one that was seen as a way to bury the case.
Krischer told the FDLE two other victims had been invited to testify but declined to. Epstein was charged with a single count of solicitation of prostitution in July He Know any of these woman out on bail in time for lunch. She also said she was limited by state law, including statutes of limitation. After the grand jury charge, the legal saga was far from over. Attorney Alexander Acosta, instructed her to strike a plea deal in which Epstein would serve only two years in prison.
The final deal said Epstein would plead guilty to two state charges procuring a minor for prostitution and felony solicitationserve 18 months in jail, register as a sex offender and make restitution to his victims. In exchange, no charges were filed in federal court, and any named or unnamed co-conspirators were protected from being prosecuted for any involvement in the Florida case.
In fact, the victims were not notified about the dealeven after it was ed in the fall of InU. District Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that the U. You can appeal to Main Justice. Department of Health and Human Services.Know any of these woman
email: [email protected] - phone:(992) 281-7485 x 1712
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