Courtney Wild, an alleged victim of, spoke at a news conference with her attorneys in New York City on Tuesday. Wild was an unnamed victim in the 2008 lawsuit against the Department of Justice for the secret plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid criminal charges.
Wild said she was sexually abused by Epstein as a child. She said she "never had the chance for my voice to be heard" because of the secret plea deal and is now urging other victims to come forward.
"As long as the victims speak up, he isn't going to get away this time. If you have already made the decision to come forward, thank you," Wild said. "If you have not, the time is now."
Epstein was arrested in New York on July 6 and charged last week with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. He is alleged to have abused dozens of underage girls as young as 14 over a number of years. Since his arrest, Epstein has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan, near City Hall.
On Monday, Wild attended a bail hearing as federal prosecutors asked a federal judge to reject a request by Epstein's lawyers that he remain under house arrest in his $77 million Manhattan mansion until trial for his sex trafficking charges. She spoke inside the courtroom yesterday and read from a statement at the press conference on Tuesday, noting the similarities between the charges brought against Epstein in two states.
"This is no surprise Jeffrey Epstein was sexually abusing girls in New York," Wild said on Tuesday. "He did it everywhere."
Wild was joined by her attorneys, Stan Pottinger, Brittany Henderson, and Brad Edwards. Wild has been working with Edwards in bringing legal action against Epstein in Florida since 2008.
Edwards spoke extensively at the press conference and also took questions. He called Wild "an extraordinary person" and said Epstein's recent arrest in New York has "no relationship" to the case he and Wild are prosecuting in Florida.
"The same conduct he was engaging in in Florida, he was engaging in New York," Edwards said, speaking of Epstein's charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking with minors. "We have taken so many depositions and spoken with countless witnesses that we know that information."
Edwards called Epstein's alleged actions, "sexual assault, mind manipulation, and child molestation."
"The facts and evidence show it was multiple underage girls, set appointments for each one of them, sometimes three or four a day. This is something where Jeffrey Epstein had at each one of his homes employees, associates, whose sole job was to the recruitment of high school children and vulnerable young adults," Edwards said.
Edwards and Pottinger also took aim at thethen U.S. Attorney of Florida Alex Acosta's office signed with Epstein's defense team in 2008. The agreement provided Epstein with immunity from all sexual offenses he may have committed in the Southern District of Florida from 2001 to 2007 and sentenced him to one year of jail in a work-release program in Florida and forced him to register as a sex offender.
In February, a federal judge said prosecutors had violated victims' rights by keeping the agreement secret.
"The criminal process completely failed Courtney and the other victims," Edwards said, noting that nothing was communicated to the victims after the agreement was signed.
During the press conference, Pottinger also provided a confidential phone number any alleged victims of Epstein could call to report allegations against him. Wild took it upon herself to urge other victims to come forward and share their stories.
"If you are a victim of Jeffrey Epstein then you know what I know: he will never stop sexually abusing children until he is in jail," Wild said in her statement. "Your decision or not whether to come forward will make a difference."
Judge Richard M. Berman said he will announce his bail decision on Thursday.
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