County Judge Releases Epstein Documents That Were Sealed For 16 Years

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A judge in Palm Beach County unsealed the grand jury records of a 2008 criminal case involving Jeffrey Epstein today, the Miami Herald reported.

The almost 200 pages in records were kept secret for 16 years and include the testimony of at least one girl who accused Epstein of molesting her, according to the outlet. He was reportedly able to avoid serious charges partly because the then-Palm Beach prosecutor elected to indict him on minor charges of prostitution instead of “charging him with felony sexual assault.

The convicted pedophile was found dead in his cell in 2019 after being rearrested on charges of sex trafficking. Ghislaine Maxwell — who had an extensive relationship with Epstein — was later convicted on sex trafficking charges.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law legislation mandating the 2006 grand jury transcripts from a Florida investigation be publicly released, effective July 1, according to a February press release from Governor DeSantis’ office. The press release explains how the documents were kept from being public previously.

“Rather than charge Epstein directly, the State Attorney at the time chose to present evidence to a grand jury — ensuring the names of those involved and the details of the accusations were kept sealed,” the press release reads.

In 2008, Epstein was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and 12 months house arrest, PBS reported. He was reportedly also forced to register as a sex offender. Epstein pleaded guilty to state counts of hiring an underage person for prostitution and soliciting prostitution, according to the outlet.

“What happened was clearly wrong and the punishment was wholly inadequate for the crime,” DeSantis reportedly stated. (RELATED: DeSantis Set To Approve Release Of Epstein Grand Jury Docs)

A third round of unsealed court documents released in January included graphic descriptions by victims of sexual abuse they said he committed against them at his estates. Previous documents named famous individuals, including former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.