Will Epstein Prosecutors Use Photo Evidence of Illegal "Client" Activity?

Updated on August 16, 2019
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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He has published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.

Image from inside Epstein's Palm Beach mansion obtained during 2005 police raid.
Image from inside Epstein's Palm Beach mansion obtained during 2005 police raid. | Source

On July 25, 2019, the New York Post reported that Manhattan federal prosecutors were conducting an “ongoing investigation" of "uncharged individuals” connected to Jeffrey Epstein, according to court papers filed that day. Relevant to that investigation were "images of nude or partially-nude individuals” which had been seized from Epstein's residences, which, if released to the public, “would impede...the Government’s ongoing investigation of uncharged individuals...”

The implication was strong that "uncharged individuals" were in the photographs. Epstein had already been charged with child sex trafficking on July 8, 2019. Why would the leaking of photographs "impede" the investigation of "uncharged individuals," unless the individuals were themselves in the photographs? This might certainly cause some uncharged individuals to flee to avoid arrest. That would certainly impede an investigation.

The images were the subject of a nine-page order which the prosecution asked the judge in the case to endorse, which prohibited Epstein's lawyers from sharing the information with anyone not directly involved in case, due to “confidential” and “highly confidential” information.

The New York Post reported that, before sharing the photographs with defense, as required by law, Manhattan prosecutors:

"asked Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman to first endorse a nine-page order prohibiting the lawyers from sharing the information with anyone not directly involved in Epstein’s case. The reasons include the possibility that releasing it 'would impede, if prematurely disclosed, the Government’s ongoing investigation of uncharged individuals,' according to the Manhattan federal court filing. None of those people were identified. The 'highly confidential' information 'contains images of nude or partially-nude individuals' that will only be made available to the defense 'under the protection of law enforcement officers or employees,' according to court papers."

It is highly unlikely that prosecutors were afraid that the defense would leak images of nude underage girls to the public, for which there would be no benefit to their client. What were prosecutors afraid of?

Thus, in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein's death, mysterious and fraught with controversy on all sides of the political spectrum, one question has never been asked: what will prosecutors do with any photographs of men with underage girls, which already constitutes prosecutable evidence? The mere possession of lewd photographs of children is a crime, never mind appearing in one such photograph. No further testimony by witnesses would be necessary, only the identification of the wrongdoer in the picture.

Prosecutors in the Epstein case have long suggested that raids on the Epstein's properties have yielded troves of evidence. After the raid on Epstein's Palm Beach mansion in 2005, in 2016 the Daily Mail reported on and published photos of the raid. The raid revealed that, according to authorities, Epstein and associates were in the habit of rigging up properties with hidden cameras in order to capture the illegal sex acts of friends and clients, including rich and powerful men.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported:

"According to investigators, Epstein had cameras placed in clocks and other items in the room to secretly record his sexual encounters and those of other influential men he invited into his homes to have sex with young girls."

Although a sizable portion of news coverage after the death of Epstein consists of questioning to whom the investigation may lead next, or if it will even lead anywhere, no one has asked about the photos of the "johns" which might already be in the possession of law enforcement, which in themselves, after close forensic examination and identification of the adult subjects, are in themselves sufficient to spur arrests.

Epstein's alleged victims, despite expressing frustration at being cheated of their chance to face their alleged attacker in court, are calling for prosecutors to continue their investigation, and go after Epstein's "accomplices and enablers." Jennifer Araoz, who had accused Epstein of raping her when she was 15, said in a statement reported by NBC News:

"We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people. Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served. I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims.”

Certainly among "accomplices" in the assaults of the girls are the men, or women, who physically did the assaulting.

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