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Resource ID: #28985
Subject: Sexual Abuse
Source: ane Musgrave, John Pacenti, Lulu Ramadan, Joel Engelhardt, Chris Persaud
Affiliation: Palm Beach Post
Date: 2019-11-24



The original prosecutor in the Jeffrey Epstein case — Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer — mishandled his own case in 2006, evidently believing underage victims were prostitutes. One of his prosecutors said more than once that there were “no victims.” There’s no evidence in the state attorney’s investigative file that prosecutors ever spoke to any of 13 girls who had told police strikingly similar stories of being molested or raped by Epstein. The Post was the first to report that a 14-year-old girl, the only victim to testify in front of the grand jury, was undermined by the prosecutor sworn to protect her. Krischer’s chief prosecutor appeared to scuttle the case as she questioned the girl about her social media pages, supplied by the defense. The result was a single prostitution charge that a “john” soliciting an adult sex worker would face. The Post has sued to make public the grand jury transcript in order to find out why this happened. Krischer’s fumbles are the reason the case went to the FBI and then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, resulting in a secret nonprosecution agreement that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution-related charges, an outcome that stained the underage victims and was only the first time they were to be denied justice. Further, as The Post was first to report, Krischer is still involved with two agencies under scrutiny by the governor and Congress over the Epstein case. And finally The Post discovered a deficiency in state law for victims of sex abuse. For 16- and 17-year-olds who are molested, there is no sex crime, despite the fact that the age of consent in Florida is 18.

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