By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
In part from the text of the Judge’s decision:
Accordingly, we VACATE the District Court’s orders entered on November 2, 2016, May 3, 2017, and August 27, 2018, ORDER the unsealing of the summary judgment record as described further herein, and REMAND the cause to the District Court for particularized review of the remaining sealed materials. Judge Pooler concurs in this opinion except insofar as it orders the immediate unsealing of the summary judgment record without a remand.
The origins of this case lie in a decade‐old criminal proceeding against financier Jeffrey Epstein (“Epstein”). On June 30, 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to Florida state charges of soliciting, and procuring a person under the age of eighteen for, prostitution. The charges stemmed from sexual activity with privately hired “masseuses,” some of whom were under eighteen, Florida’s age of consent. Pursuant to an agreement with state and federal prosecutors, Epstein pleaded to the state charges. He received limited jail‐time, registered as a sex offender, and agreed to pay compensation to his victims. In return, prosecutors declined to bring federal charges. Shortly after Epstein entered his plea, two of his victims, proceeding as “Jane Doe 1” and “Jane Doe 2,” filed suit against the Government in the Southern District of Florida under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (“CVRA”). The victims sought to nullify the plea agreement, alleging that the Government failed to fulfill its legal obligations to inform and consult with them in the process leading up to Epstein’s plea deal.1 On December 30, 2014, two additional unnamed victims—one of whom has now self‐identified as Plaintiff‐Appellee Virginia Giuffre (“Giuffre”)—petitioned to join in the CVRA case. These petitioners included in their filings not only descriptions of sexual abuse by Epstein, but also new allegations of sexual abuse by several other prominent individuals, “including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well‐known Prime Minister, and other world leaders,” as well as Dershowitz (a long‐time member of the Harvard Law School faculty who had worked on Epstein’s legal defense) and Defendant‐Appellee Ghislaine Maxwell (“Maxwell”).2