Wednesday, August 21, 2019
From Naomi Cahn (GW), writing for Forbes:
In the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s death, there are numerous disturbing issues about the possibility of justice for his victims. Victims are angry that his death cuts off one form of closure for them: a criminal case ends when the defendant dies. So there will be no criminal trial for him, although prosecutors are looking at cases against his co-conspirators.
But a criminal trial would not have resulted in any financial payments to his victims. Of course, prosecutors could bring a civil forfeiture suit to seize some of his assets if there is evidence that they were used to facilitate a crime, and victims could then petition the Department of Justice for that money. That could be a lengthy process.
But victims have a more direct way of proceeding. They can turn to civil law, to tort law suits. The good news there is that, unlike in a criminal trial, some new suits can be brought, even though Epstein is dead.
Read more here.
Indeed, the first suit has already been filed in a New York court by Jennifer Araoz. She claims that he “committed repeated sexual assault and battery” upon her when she was 14 and 15, and the complaint documents those assaults in painful detail. His actions, and those of his co-conspirators, she claims, resulted in “extreme emotional injuries” to her. The suit asks for both compensatory and punitive damages.