Jeffrey Epstein child abuse scandal in the USA


This 29 November 2018 CBS News TV video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta allegedly helped cover up sex crimes by Jeffrey Epstein

CBSN’s Tanya Rivero speaks with Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie Brown about Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s role in Jeffrey Epstein’s prosecution. Epstein is a multimillion dollar hedge fund manager accused of sexually abusing underage girls in his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

By Matthew Taylor in the USA:

Jeffrey Epstein case exposes how US justice works for the rich

By Matthew Taylor

10 December 2018

The crimes and prosecution of billionaire money manager Jeffrey Epstein have received a great deal of attention in the past weeks from the news media. Most reports have centered upon the role of [Donald Trump’s] Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who, in his previous role as the top federal prosecutor in Miami at the time of Epstein’s sentencing, had to sign off on the sweetheart deal he received.

Acosta claims the 13-month sentence Epstein received for two charges of soliciting prostitution was the harshest sentence that could be imposed, but reports from the Miami Herald and other sources have exposed this as a lie. Throughout the early 2000s and probably earlier, Epstein sexually abused scores, perhaps hundreds of young girls, most of them between the ages of 13 and 16. He is also alleged to have engaged in human trafficking on a massive scale, pimping out his harem of desperate youth to his circle of financiers, politicians, and lawyers.

Throughout the investigation into his crimes, his prosecution, sentencing and jail term, and right up to the present day, Epstein has been aided by a pliant judiciary and multiple prosecutors who, because of his great wealth, treated him as though he were their client, rather than a serial sex offender. They helped Epstein and his legal team minimize public scrutiny of his case, worked diligently to substitute more serious charges with lesser ones, and ultimately violated federal law by failing to notify any of Epstein’s victims of the plea agreement reached.

The investigation and prosecution of Epstein have illustrated a fundamental fact of modern life: there are two justice systems, one for the rich, and one for everybody else.

Epstein started his career in New York decades ago, working as a derivatives specialist for Bear Stearns before founding his own investment firm. The full extent of his wealth is unknown, and the Miami Herald has noted that he has never been listed in the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans “largely because the magazine has never been able to determine the source or the size of his wealth.”

Though the exact figure is unknown, Epstein had the means to purchase, in addition to the Palm Beach mansion and private airliner where he committed many of his crimes, a private island in the Caribbean, a 10,000-acre ranch in New Mexico, and a Manhattan mansion that occupies an entire block of New York City real estate, the largest private residence in that city.

From 1999 to 2005, investigators in the Palm Beach area established that Epstein had set up a network whereby he would pay young girls, recruited from high schools and shopping malls, $200-$300 to give him “massages” at his mansion. Then he would pressure them into sexual acts. He would then offer them money to recruit other girls, essentially building what investigators labeled a “sexual Ponzi scheme”.

Typically Epstein and his network of “schedulers” would target poor working-class girls. His victims came from disadvantaged families, single-parent homes or foster care. Many of the girls were “one step away from homelessness”, according to the Herald. One victim, age 14 when she met Epstein, told the newspaper, “Jeffrey preyed on girls who were in a bad way, girls who were basically homeless. He went after girls who he thought no one would listen to and he was right.”

Throughout the course of their investigation, reporters “identified about 80 women who say they were molested or otherwise sexually abused by Epstein from 2001 to 2006.”

Palm Beach police opened an investigation of Epstein in 2005 after the parents of one of his victims reported his activities. Over the course of several months, investigators identified approximately 35 victims. Upon hearing about the investigation from one of the girls the police had interviewed, Epstein unleashed a multi-million-dollar counteroffensive, beginning with retaining the services of his longtime friend, the notorious right-wing lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Dershowitz hired a team of private investigators to interview his client’s victims, dig up information he thought would discredit their stories, and intimidate them into keeping silent, sometimes by posing as police officers. He also met with Palm Beach County State’s Attorney Barry Krischer to discuss the case, after which both Krischer and lead prosecutor Assistant State Attorney Lanna Belohlavek began to obstruct the investigation.

After the State’s Attorney’s office refused to indict Epstein in 2006 on felony sex charges and instead referred his case to a grand jury that only heard testimony from two of his victims, Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter publicly accused his superiors of obstructing the investigation and the prosecutor’s office was forced to turn the investigation over to the FBI. Epstein was indicted on misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution.

After the federal investigation began Epstein, who was a longtime donor to the Democratic party and a personal friend of former president Bill Clinton, hired a small army of lawyers to represent him, most notably one-time Clinton special prosecutor Ken Starr.

Throughout the subsequent months, federal prosecutors worked hand in hand with Epstein’s team to assure the billionaire would spend a minimal amount of time in prison, and that his case would be kept out of the public eye.

Emails obtained by the Miami Herald detail this collaboration. In one, lead prosecutor A. Marie Villafana wrote to Epstein’s lawyers, “On an avoid the press note … I can file the charge in district court in Miami which will hopefully cut the press coverage significantly. Do you want to check that out?”

In another email, Villafana details her efforts to minimize the charges against the man she was prosecuting: “I’ve been spending some quality time with Title 18 [the U.S. criminal code] looking for misdemeanors.” Throughout this period, prosecutors often communicated with Epstein’s attorneys via private emails, suggesting that they did not want public scrutiny of their negotiations.

After months of discussion, Epstein agreed to a plea deal whereby he would plead guilty to two state counts of soliciting prostitution and receive a 13-month sentence. In return, prosecutors agreed to shut down the investigation and grant immunity to Epstein’s co-conspirators, who were unnamed in the deal. Prosecutors also agreed to conceal the plea agreement from Epstein’s victims until after his sentencing, a violation of the federal Crime Victims Rights Act.

Included in the language of Epstein’s plea agreement was an acknowledgment by prosecutors that Epstein had provided assistance in an unrelated case. There was media speculation that it may be related to an investigation of two Bear Stearns executives whom Epstein testified against. Epstein had been a major investor in that company prior to its collapse and absorption by JP Morgan Chase at the beginning of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Epstein’s privileged status continued after his sentencing. He was allowed to serve his sentence in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail, rather than be sent to prison where his status as a sex offender might place him in danger. He was also granted work release for six days a week, 12 hours a day, in spite of the fact that under Florida law sex offenders are barred from that program. He paid the sheriff’s deputies who guarded him and was generally given the VIP treatment by his jailers.

Upon his release, Epstein was to serve a year under house arrest. This he did, jetting back and forth between his mansions in New York and Palm Beach, with frequent excursions to his private island, all court-approved.

Epstein’s special treatment continued for years after he completed his sentence. In 2011 he tried to get his sex offender status reduced in the state of New York. The federal prosecutor assigned to the case argued on Epstein’s behalf, claiming that his victims had not cooperated in the case and that Epstein had never technically been indicted. The judge denied the petition expressing astonishment that a prosecutor would make such an argument.

Had Epstein not been a wealthy man, he would have surely served decades in prison for his crimes. Of course, were it not for his great wealth he would not have had the means to commit his crimes on such a vast scale to begin with. Because of the unique agreement he struck with prosecutors, the full extent of his sex trafficking network may never be known. It is only due to the exposé published by the Miami Herald, and the role of Trump’s current Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in his plea agreement, that the Epstein case has come to public attention.

Epstein still has legal difficulties. Multiple lawsuits have been filed by his victims to overturn his plea agreement. Whatever the outcome of these lawsuits may be, they will not negate the central truth that has been once again been exposed: in the United States there are two sets of laws, one for the masses of people, and a different one altogether for the wealthy, where their privileged status protects them from the consequences of even the most heinous and repulsive actions.

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Massive child abuse in Australia


This 15 December 2017 video says about itself:

Australia: Child abuse report criticises Catholic church

A five-year inquiry into the sexual abuse of children in Australia has called for sweeping changes to be made. These included recommending an end to mandatory celibacy in the Catholic Church. The Australian Royal Commission estimates tens of thousands of children have been abused in Australian institutions over the last 90 years.

Al Jazeera’s Victoria Gatenby reports.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Australian government has apologized for the sexual abuse of children that has taken place on a large scale in the country. A research committee found a cesspool in December: tens of thousands of children, mostly in the vicinity of churches, were abused for decades. …

The committee investigated the abuse for five years. Sixty percent of the abuse took place in the Roman Catholic Church.

According to Wikipedia, 22.6% of people in Australia are Roman Catholic.

Nobel Peace Prize 2018, to Congo, Yazidi woman


This 5 October 2018 video is called Nobel Peace Prize 2018: Awardees Fight Against Sexual Violence In War.

YAZIDI rape and kidnap survivor Nadia Murad was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today, along with anti-rape campaigner and gynaecologist Denis Mukwege. The winners were announced in the Norwegian capital Oslo yesterday after the committee considered the 331 individuals and organisations that were nominated for the prestigious peace award: here.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh, update


This video from the USA says about itself:

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford: ‘I Thought Brett Was Accidentally Going To Kill Me’

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s harrowing testimony shook more than just the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

GOP PLANS TO RAM THROUGH KAVANAUGH The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to proceed with a vote Friday on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, despite the whirlwind hearing in which the federal judge answered questions about a sexual assault allegations. However, the American Bar Association called on the committee to delay its confirmation vote pending an FBI investigation. [HuffPost]

TRUMP: KAVANAUGH TESTIMONY ‘POWERFUL, HONEST’ President Donald Trump reacted to the hearing by calling Kavanaugh’s testimony  “powerful, honest, and riveting,” adding that the Senate “must vote!” Not everyone was as impressed: the national Catholic publication America Magazine revoked its July endorsement of Kavanaugh following Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. [HuffPost]

KAVANAUGH OUTED AS PARTISAN WARRIOR During the hearing, Kavanaugh exposed himself as a partisan warrior, accusing Democrats of engaging in a “calculated and orchestrated political hit” that was animated by “anger at Trump” over the 2016 presidential election, as well as “revenge on behalf of” Bill and Hillary Clinton. In contrast, here’s Blasey giving her powerful testimony describing how Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. [HuffPost]

SCOTUS PICK PLAYS VICTIM By first yelling, then breaking down in tears, then attacking those who raised the allegations, Kavanaugh’s strategy was clear: to portray himself as an aggrieved victim. It was a spectacle of angry male bonding. [HuffPost]

CONSERVATIVE MEDIA CHIMES IN Here’s how conservatives and members of the right-wing media responded to Blasey’s testimony. Yet it wasn’t all bad: Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said the allegations against Kavanaugh prompted his daughters to reveal to him for the first time certain experiences they had in high school. [HuffPost]

KAVANAUGH CLASSMATE: HE’S LYING North Carolina State University professor Chad Ludington has joined a handful of former classmates of Brett Kavanaugh in contradicting the Supreme Court nominee’s claims about his past drinking. Ludington told The New York Times that Kavanaugh played down “the degree and frequency” of his drinking at Yale to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week and that he often saw Kavanaugh “staggering from alcohol consumption.” [HuffPost]

Here are all the lies Brett Kavanaugh has told.

LITTLE ADVANCE SINCE ANITA HILL The Senate’s treatment of Anita Hill in 1991 is considered a national embarrassment. The treatment of Christine Blasey Ford will not go down in history much better. [HuffPost]

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh sex scandal update


This 26 September 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Kavanaugh Paints ‘Church Boy‘ Persona On Fox News

Kavanaugh, wife by his side, played the victim and repeatedly stated he was a ‘good boy’ in school during the years two women have accused him of sexual misconduct. His interview was robotic and obviously scripted as he dodged questions and repeated himself.

New Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick details parties where girls allegedly were drugged and raped. Julie Swetnick, a third accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh publicly identified herself Wednesday. Swetnick alleged that Kavanaugh and others in the early 1980s spiked the drinks of girls at high school parties with intoxicants to make it easier for them to be gang raped: here.

GOP SCHEDULES FRIDAY SCOTUS VOTE The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court — the day after Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford will testify about her allegation he sexually assaulted her when they were teens. Republican committee leaders have hired a female sex-crimes prosecutor as outside counsel to question the accuser. [AP]

KAVANAUGH CLASSMATES: PROBE THE CLAIMS Several former classmates of Kavanaugh, who just months ago endorsed his nomination, have now called for the Yale alumnus to be investigated over allegations of sexual misconduct. [HuffPost]

ACCUSER ‘HAS CORROBORATION’ According to USA Today, attorneys for Blasey have sworn and signed declarations from four people who corroborate her claims of sexual assault. [USA Today]

FOX NEWS HOST BLAMES ASSAULT SURVIVORS Fox News host Tucker Carlson has slammed sexual assault survivors who don’t report their assailants, labeling them as “part of the problem.” [HuffPost]

Some of the reasons by abuse survivors don’t report the crimes immediately:

COSBY JAILED Bill Cosby, the disgraced comedian accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women over his decades-long career, was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. [HuffPost]

Bill Cosby’s publicist reacted to his client’s prison sentence by saying, “They persecuted Jesus and look what happened.”

Sexual abuse drives Catholics out of church, pope says


This video from Germany says about itself:

Catholic Church in Germany releases sex abuse report

24 September 2018

It’s believed to cover a 70 year period and follows various reports of sexual abuse in Germany.

A four-year investigation into the sexual abuse of children in the German Catholic Church is to publish its findings. Our Berlin Correspondent Jessica Saltz gives us more details about this scandal.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Pope: abuse scandals drive people out of the church

The abuse scandals in the Catholic Church shock believers and drive them out of the church. That is what the Pope said today on the last day of his visit to the Baltic states. The church must change if it wants to keep future generations, he said.

The Pope’s statements coincide with a new report on decades of sexual abuse and its cover-up in Germany.

To a large group of young people in Estonia, the Pope said that he knows that many young people feel that the church has nothing to offer them and does not understand their problems. “They are furious about the sexual and economic scandals without clear condemnation, and about the fact that we are not willing to really understand the lives and sensitivities of young people.”

“We ourselves must be converted”, said the Pope. “In order to be able to stand next to you, we have to realize that we have to change a lot.”

Report

With these pronouncements, the Pope recognizes for the first time publicly the failure of the approach to sexual abuse.

Today, a report was published at the German bishops’ conference showing that almost 3700 people in Germany were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014. More than half were 13 or younger at the time, and nearly a third of them were altar boys.

According to the report, evidence in these cases has been destroyed or manipulated. Many cases have never been brought to justice and abusers have been transferred, without their past having been made known.

Cardinal Marx, as the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, said at the presentation of the report that things are not finished right now, but are just beginning.

“For far too long there have been lies about abuse in the church, looking away and cover-ups, and for all these failures and pain I apologize”, said Marx. “I am ashamed of destroying trust and of the crimes that people have been subjected to by church officials.”