On August 10, 2019, American financier and convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. Even though his sudden death was ruled a suicide by the medical examiner, the consensus on the internet immediately coalesced around a slogan that has become a memetic adage, “Epstein didn’t kill himself.”
Epstein’s lawyers and family members challenged the initial assumption that it was a suicide. They hired a private forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, to investigate the case.
Dr. Baden has had quite the career as a medical examiner for forty-five years. He is the former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and past Co-Director of the New York State Police Medico-Legal Investigations Unit, has held multiple professorial teaching appointments, and has been a consultant to a litany of agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Veteran’s Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm’s, Drug Enforcement Agency and the United States Department of Justice.
Dr. Baden, who was present in the room when Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein, challenged Dr. Sampson’s findings. One example that Dr. Baden pointed to included fractures to Epstein’s larynx and hyoid bone, which he said were “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings.” Indeed, hyoid bone fractures are uncommon in general, accounting for only .002% of all fractures in humans, and very rarely result from trauma other than strangulation.
Such doubts to the cause and manner of death for Mr. Epstein were dismissed by the Chief Medical Examiner, who said “I stand firmly behind our determination of the cause and manner of death for Mr. Epstein. The cause is hanging, the manner is suicide.”
Even Attorney General William (Bill) Barr admitted that he had initial suspicions regarding Epstein’s death. However, Barr noted that his suspicions were quelled by the investigations of the F.B.I. and Justice Department’s Inspector General. Rather than nefarious motives or actions, Barr blamed a series of errors at the jail in what he called “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”
Last Thursday, Ghislaine Maxwell’s Deposition Transcript from April 2016 was Released
Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell, is a British socialite and businessperson, known for her association with Jeffrey Epstein.
She was born outside of Paris, France on Christmas Day in 1961, brought up as Anglican, and educated at Marlborough College, Balliol College, and Oxford. Maxwell worked for her father up until his death in 1991, when she moved to the United States and became a close associate of Epstein. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2002.
In 2012, Maxwell founded the self-described ocean-advocacy group The TerraMar Project, which announced a cessation of operations on July 12, 2019, just a week after sex trafficking charges brought against Epstein became public.
Even though Maxwell denies witnessing ‘inappropriate’ activities, the testimonies of various people have implicated her as a core facilitator in Epstein’s sex trafficking ring that allegedly involved prominent figures such as Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, and others.
Although Maxwell’s counsel made a motion for summary judgement (in which a decision is made on the claims involved without holding a full trial) in late 2018, the plaintiff’s legal team provided a comprehensive response that included various testimonies and multiple types of evidence against Maxwell.
On July 2, 2020, the United States Attorney’s Office announced the unsealing of federal felony charges against Ghislaine Maxwell. The indictment shows that Maxwell has been charged with six counts in total:
- Conspiracy to Entice Minors to Travel to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts
- Enticement of a Minor to Travel to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts
- Conspiracy to Transport Minors with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity
- Transportation of a Minor with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity
- Perjury (in relation to the April 22, 2016, deposition for docket number 15 Civ. 7344)
- Perjury (in relation to the July 22, 2016, deposition for docket number 15 Civ. 7344)
The U.S. Department of Justice provides case updates on its website.
On July 30, 2020, a corrected motion was filed for joinder in action, which would add two new victims to the ongoing case against Jeffrey Epstein in which Ghislaine Maxwell is implicated.
Last Thursday, October 22, 2020, a federal court released Ghislaine Maxwell’s April 2016 deposition from a now settled case in which one of the victims, Ms. Giuffre, sued Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015 after she called Giuffre a liar.
The deposition, now available to the public, consists of over 400 pages of Maxwell evading questions about the sex-trafficking operation she allegedly ran with the late Jeffrey Epstein. The release of the deposition came after Maxwell lost an appeal to keep the document sealed.
Although many names are redacted in the released deposition, Slate claimed to have cracked the code of many redacted names.
Yesterday, on October 23, 2020, Maxwell’s lawyer, Jeffrey Pagliuca, sent a response to the government’s October 7, 2020 letter in the case United States v. Ghislaine Maxwell. In the letter, he asserted that Maxwell could not access all of the documents that was made available to her as part of the discovery process in the case. He also noted that such access is her right and the government is obligated to fulfill its obligations therein.
Mr. Pagiluca further emphasized that the self-imposed deadline of November 9, 2020, that the government set to turn over a large chunk of relevant documentation in the discovery process, is coming up soon as he casted further doubts on the government’s ability or desire to meet its own deadline.
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