Sunday, May 16, 2021

Move Along Now, Nothing To See Over Here...,

miamiherald |  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has cleared Palm Beach state prosecutors and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office of any wrongdoing in connection with the lenient criminal prosecution and liberal jail privileges received by sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

FDLE investigators found no evidence that Barry Krischer, who was the Palm Beach state attorney when the case was investigated in 2005-2006, or his assistant state attorney on the case, Lanna Belohlavek, committed any crimes, accepted any bribes or gifts, or did anything improper in their handling of the case, according to a 24-page summary of the state probe into their actions obtained Monday by the Miami Herald.

FDLE’s criminal investigation was ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis following a series of stories in the Miami Herald, beginning in 2018. The series detailed how Epstein received unprecedented federal immunity and served a short jail sentence in 2008. After the series, Epstein was indicted in New York in 2019 on new sex trafficking charges, but died a month later behind bars while awaiting trial. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.

The state’s probe was two-fold: focusing on Krischer’s initial decision not to prosecute Epstein, a wealthy New York financier accused of molesting and raping more than a dozen middle and high school girls at his Palm Beach mansion; and on Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s role, if any, in Epstein’s unusual accommodations while he was in custody in the Palm Beach county jail.

In 2007, Epstein’s criminal case was taken over by the Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office, which compiled enough evidence to charge him in a 53-page sex crime indictment. However, Miami’s U.S. attorney at the time, Alexander Acosta, approved a non-prosecution agreement giving Epstein and an untold number of other conspirators immunity in exchange for Epstein agreeing to plead guilty to relatively minor state charges and serve what turned out to be a 13-month sentence in the Palm Beach county jail. 

FDLE released three summaries of its investigation Monday — an examination of the state attorney’s office’s handling of the case; a look at allegations that Epstein sexually abused two women while he was on work release in Palm Beach; and an inquiry into whether anyone in the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office committed any crimes or received any benefits for giving Epstein special privileges while he was incarcerated.

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