"They were underprivileged girls... some of them lived in foster homes." The helpless young girls were violated when they were just kids.
When a man with vile motives enters a young child's life and violates them, they leave behind the most nightmarish memories that they will never get over. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is alleged to be one such man who is said to have violated not just the lives of one or two children, but possibly dozens of young girls who may never forget the trauma but are waiting for some kind of justice or solace to ease the pain.
The 66-year-old wealthy financier, who belongs to a powerful circle of friends, was recently arrested. He's alleged to have "sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations," for three years straight, from 2002 to 2005, according to prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. But it doesn't end there. He is also said to have used a "vast network of underage victims" to bring more defenseless teenage girls into his lair, according to ABC News.
Victims have come out and spoken about the vile motives he had and carried out with girls who were just 14 years old.
Courtney Wild, who talked about being abused by the billionaire as a young girl, had spent years trying to find justice for her story. "Just to hear that they’re standing up for the victims is just so overwhelmingly past due," Courtney Wild said.
On Monday, June 8, she sat alongside other victims in court and watched their alleged perpetrator be questioned years after what he did to them. Although it felt like they were going one step closer to convicting the man who violated them, it also made them painfully revisit the memories they try so hard to forget. "I started crying because it put me back into that place where I didn't want to be," said another alleged victim, Michelle Licata. "But it was actually great to see him in that seat being asked questions."
They were just children, some extremely helpless, when they fell prey to Jeffrey Epstein's horrid intentions. "...at the time that this happened, they were underprivileged girls who lived in West Palm Beach. And some of them lived in foster homes. Several of them were one step away from homeless, if not truly homeless," Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown said, as reported by NPR. "And they thought that they were just going to give a man a massage in exchange for money. But what ultimately happened is that he sexually abused them and then offered them even more money to recruit their friends and other girls in the same age. So he had a revolving door of young girls coming into his mansion in Palm Beach."
No matter how many years have passed, the memories will still remain fresh in the minds of the victims. Now in her 30s, Courtney Wild recalled, "I remember standing in his kitchen, and he also had a lot of girls there at the time." She was just 14, a child still wearing her braces, when it happened. “If I had a girl to bring him at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then that’s how many times I would go a day. He wanted as many girls as I could get him. It was never enough."
Michelle Licata also revealed that during her first encounter with Jeffrey Epstein, “he said, ‘God, you’re just so beautiful and sexy and gorgeous,’ and it was making me feel really uncomfortable,” she said, according to New York Post. “Then he wanted me to rub his back. And then he kept asking me to go lower and lower," she said in an interview with ABC.
The registered sex offender is said to have “a vast trove of lewd photographs” of young women with “at least one girl, who, according to her counsel, was underage at the time the relevant photographs were taken,” prosecutors said about the "hundreds — and perhaps thousands — of sexually suggestive photographs of fully or partially nude females," according to CNBC.
"It is an important step towards getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise," attorney David Boies, who represents Epstein accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Sarah Ransome, told The Daily Beast. "We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible."