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The life and death of world renowned sexual predator and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is commonplace, and riddled with theories and unanswered questions. It shocked the world when it was announced that Jeffrey Epstein had been found dead in his New York jail cell, which was reported as “suicide” on Aug. 10, 2019, just 35 days after he was arrested.
At the time of his highly suspicious death, Epstein was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges after he was accused of sexually trafficking dozens of underage girls and engaging in sexual acts with them.
According to the unsealed federal indictment and announcement made by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, prosecutors said in or about 2002, up to and including at least in or about 2005, “Epstein sexually exploited and abused dozens of underage girls by enticing them to engage in sex acts with him in exchange for money. Epstein allegedly worked with several employees and associates to ensure that he had a steady supply of minor victims to abuse, and paid several of those victims themselves to recruit other underage girls to engage in similar sex acts for money. He committed these offenses in locations including New York, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida.”
The indictment described how Epstein would lure women to his gated compound in Palm Beach, Florida where he would pay young girls, many who were underage, hundreds of dollars to give him nude massages and have sex with him. Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell also enticed the young girls to recruit other girls to engage in sexual acts with Epstein.
Prior to being arrested and jailed in New York, Epstein, who made his fortune as a financier, had previously been investigated in Florida more than ten years earlier in connection with the sexual abuse of underage girls.
While there’s enough salacious details surrounding the the Epstein scandal to fill an encyclopedia, the Florida based investigation into Epstein first began in 2005 by police in Palm Beach, Florida after the family of a 14-year-old girl reported that she was sexually molested inside Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion. The allegations grew in numbers as more underage girls, who were local high school students, also told police that Epstein recruited them and paid them to give him sexual massages.
During the Palm Beach Police Department’s investigation into Epstein, following the first report made by the 14 year old girl’s parents, police rummaged through Epstein’s trash, and discovered a piece of paper that had notes from a call written on it. The note contained the young girl’s name on it, along with the names and phone numbers of other underage girls who Epstein wanted to sexually solicit. In October of 2005, the Palm Beach police were granted a warrant to search Epstein’s Palm Beach compound.
Despite engaging in pedophilia and prostitution in Florida, Epstein was given a slap on the wrist. In May 2006, Epstein’s case was formally referred to a grand jury in Palm Beach after he was charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex with a minor. He was later indicted on a single count of soliciting prostitution, which prompted the FBI to open up a multi-state investigation into Epstein.
In 2007, Epstein’s legal team had a private meeting with the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alex Acosta. It was during this meeting where Acosta struck a deal with Epstein’s legal team and agreed to only give Epstein a 13 month prison sentence in a low-security prison, and a total end to the FBI’s investigation into Epstein. Along with a 13 month prison sentence for his prostitution crimes, which was ultimately cut short by five months, Epstein also received immunity from being prosecuted on future similar charges brought against him on the condition that he register as a sex offender in Florida twice a year. He was sentenced in June of 2008, and released from prison early in July 2009.
In 2020, following Epstein’s alleged suicide, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility conducted an investigation into Acosta’s handling of the Jeffrey Epstein plea deal, and the Department of Justice ultimately concluded that Acosta exercised “poor judgment” when he resolved the federal investigation into Epstein through the state-based plea agreement with Epstein’s legal team in 2008.
Following his alleged suicide, Epstein’s predator behavior in Palm Beach was turned into the Netflix true crime docuseries, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, which focused heavily on the Palm Beach Sheriff Office’s handling of the investigation and incarceration of Epstein.
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The biggest controversy surrounding Florida’s handling of Jeffrey Epstein’s cushy plea deal was the decision by Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who is a Democrat, to allow Epstein to serve out his prison sentence in a private, low security wing of the Palm Beach County jail where he participated in a work release program under Sheriff Bradshaw. At the time, Epstein was well known and high profile Democrat donor who had close associations with President Bill Clinton.
Under the work release program, Epstein was allowed to leave the jail for 12 hours each day, six days a week. When Epstein wanted to leave the jail, he was picked up by his private driver and a security guard, driven to his office where he conducted work meetings and met with visitors, and he was even allowed to return to his Palm Beach estate, in violation of home visit restrictions for work release.
It is still a mystery as to why Epstein, who was known for having high level connections with politicians, global elites, and many celebrities, including several US Presidents, was ever approved for the Florida work release program. In a letter dated Dec. 11, 2008, Southern Florida Assistant US Attorney A. Marie Villafana said Epstein didn’t qualify for the work release program since Florida law bans people who have committed three violations in five years from eligibility. Despite being informed about this, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office under Bradshaw allowed for Epstein to leave the jail under Bradshaw’s work release program.
Making matters worse, while Epstein was incarcerated in Palm Beach and actively engaged in their work release program between 2008 and 2009, Epstein’s Florida based company, Florida Science Foundation paid Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) $128,136. This information was only discovered via records requests, but was hidden from the public by PBSO. Additionally, when his sentence ended and he was given probation, Epstein was allowed to fulfill his court ordered community service hours at the Florida Science Foundation, his own personal nonprofit. It was also later revealed that while under work release, which was supposed to be supervised by PBSO officers, “more than one woman” was sexually propositioned by Epstein at his Florida Science Foundation office”.
According to the work release program rules, a PBSO deputy was assigned to “remain in the office with Epstein at all times. Thus, it is even more alarming how Epstein was able to sexually proposition multiple women in his office while under PBSO supervision.
Additionally, according to a report by WPTV’s investigative news team in West Palm Beach, PBSO “deputy logs show Epstein was escorted to his home by deputies at least nine times” and “deputies left him in his home unsupervised for up to three hours sometimes, despite the fact that agency rules stated Epstein “is not to leave his designated workplace for any reason, with the exception of returning to the PBSO stockade, or for emergency medical treatment.”
Knowing this, why did Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s police department accept nearly $130,000 from a sexual predator and pedophile? And why was this hidden from the public for a decade?
On July 6, 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and taken into custody on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York.
13 days later on July 19, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office ordered an internal investigation into PBSO’s handling of the Jeffrey Epstein Work release relationship, which was overseen by Bradshaw ten years prior.
Oddly, Bradshaw never once called for an investigation into the unethical PBSO work release program between 2008 and 2019, which suggests the investigation was only prompted out of Bradshaw’s fear of what would be uncovered about his own unethical and possibly illegal actions as the overseer of the work release program under which Epstein was able to get away with violating the rules and sexually propositioning women in his office.
Four days after Bradshaw called for an internal investigation into his own work release program, Florida State Senator Lauren Book, who is a Democrat representative in Broward County, Florida, which neighbors Palm Beach County, sent a letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on July 23, 2019 in which she addressed the alarming fact that Epstein was able to sexually abuse young girls while under Sheriff Bradshaw’s work release program. In the letter, she said this is “yet another breakdown of the system’s dealing with this pedophile abuser.” Book continued, “We are calling for accountability on all fronts, and to that end, I am formally requesting for you to direct the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate this matter.”
I reached out to Senator Book’s office and they confirmed the legitimacy of this letter she sent to Governor DeSantis in 2019. After she sent her letter, Senator Book said she received death threats and over a dozen phone calls from supporters of Palm Beach Sheriff Bradshaw ordering her to cease and desist her efforts to have Governor DeSantis investigate the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office relationship with Jeffrey Epstein during the work release program.
Book was warned that calling for an independent investigation into Sheriff Bradshaw would be politically disadvantageous to her career since Bradshaw is close to John Kazanjian, the president of the politically influential Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA). According to a report, “Kazanjian, who is also President of the Palm Beach PBA, endorsed DeSantis for Governor and served on DeSantis’s public safety transition team. The PBA contributed $25,000 to DeSantis’ political action committee”.
In a 2018 statement, PBA president John Kazanjian said, “Ron DeSantis understands the dangers our officers face, in our prisons and on our streets.”
PBA also endorsed DeSantis for re-election in 2022. In the PBA’s November 2021 endorsement of Ron DeSantis’s re-election, Kazanjian said, “We know that he will protect law enforcement officers from the threat of the ‘Defund the Police’ movement, while also creating an environment that recruits and retains the best and brightest sworn law enforcement officers our country as to offer. We have his back and we know he has ours,” Kazanjian added.
The Police Benevolent Association, which endorsed Ron DeSantis’s re-election for Governor in 2022, has thrown their support behind Bradshaw for 2024. “From improving our working conditions to negotiating superior contracts, Sheriff Bradshaw has always had our backs,” said John Kazanjian, President of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association. “He holds everyone to the highest standards and so do we.”
It is rather alarming to know that Sheriff Bradshaw found it appropriate to oversee his own internal investigation of a sexual crime that his police department, under his watch was accused of being involved in. If it wasn’t for Senator Book’s letter to Governor DeSantis, which resulted in a firestorm of media coverage and a public pressure campaign on both PBSO and Governor DeSantis, perhaps Bradshaw would have gotten away with overseeing his own investigation into himself.
However, on August 6, 2019, nearly two weeks after Senator Book sent her letter to Governor DeSantis, PBSO Sheriff Rick Bradshaw sent a hand signed letter to Governor Ron DeSantis asking the Governor to instruct FDLE to assume and lead the criminal investigation into Epstein’s work release at PBSO during his incarceration for sex crimes.
Letters generally take several days to arrive in the mail. And even if a letter is sent priority or overnight, it would not prompt a response for at least one business day.
However, oddly enough, on August 6, 2019, the same exact day that Bradshaw sent his letter to Governor DeSantis, DeSantis sent a letter to FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen in which he referenced Bradshaw’s letter. In DeSantis’s letter to Swearingen, Governor DeSantis said, “I am requesting that FDLE assume the criminal investigation regarding Jeffrey Epstein.”
At the time, Bradshaw, a Democrat, was running for re-election for his fifth term as Palm Beach County Sheriff, and he was being slammed by his opponents, as well as local and national media for overseeing Jeffrey Epstein’s work release.
How is it possible that Senator Book’s letter to Governor DeSantis, which was hand signed and sent on July 23, 2019, was never officially addressed in the media or responded to by Governor DeSantis, but Bradshaw’s letter, in the middle of his election, was addressed by DeSantis the same exact day Bradshaw sent it?
Unsurprisingly, the FDLE investigation, which was ordered by Governor DeSantis on August 6, 2019 was stalled for the duration of the 2020 election in which Bradshaw was a candidate on the ballot. Bradshaw ultimately won re-election in 2020.
Four months later, on December 16, 2019, Sheriff Bradshaw announced that he would be terminating the work release program at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office and jail.
On November 2, 2020, just one day before Bradshaw’s election, it was announced that Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion would be DEMOLISHED. This is the same Palm Beach mansion where he carried out his sex crimes and returned several times during his work release program under Sheriff Bradshaw.
On April 22, 2021, Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, located at 358 El Brillo Way, was officially demolished after it was purchased for $18.5 million. The funds from the sale of his estate were allocated to the Victims’ Compensation Program to make financial payments to Epstein’s victims.
Less than 3 weeks after Epstein’s mansion was demolished, and almost two years after Ron DeSantis announced his decision to turn the investigation over to FDLE, FDLE announced the conclusion of their investigation on May 10, 2021. In a statement, FDLE said,
“no evidence was developed to substantiate that any identified PBSO member engaged in criminal activity during the performance of their duties associated with PBSO’s housing and supervision of Jeffrey Epstein.”
Jeffrey Epstein is dead, and the circumstances surrounding his death are questionable, at best. Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself? If not, who killed Jeffrey Epstein? Why did he pay PBSO $130,000 during his imprisonment while under work release? How come the officers who violated work release rules were never held accountable?
Additionally, Did any other correspondence with Sheriff Bradshaw cause Governor DeSantis to open the FDLE investigation one month after Senator Book originally asked, but was ignored? Did Bradshaw and DeSantis privately coordinate their letters and announcements given the fact that they were both written and sent on the same exact day, August 6, 2019? Why was the DeSantis directed FDLE investigation stalled until Bradshaw could get into office and win re-election? Why was the decision to demolish Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach announced the day before Bradshaw’s election in November 2020? How was Bradshaw allowed to terminate his work release program at PBSO in the middle of FDLE’s investigation into the work release program given that the work release program under Bradshaw was the primary focus of FDLE’s criminal investigation (an investigation which was ordered by Governor DeSantis the same day he got a letter from Bradshaw).
Many questions remain unanswered, and many victims have been left unfulfilled of the justice they deserved to receive as victims of a serial pedophile and sexual predator, thanks to Florida’s failure to deliver accountability and transparency.
And while Governor Ron DeSantis, who likes to refer to himself on the campaign trail as the “Law and Order candidate” is running for US President in the 2024 GOP primary against President Trump, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, the longest serving Sheriff in Palm Beach, is currently running for his 6th term as Palm Beach County Sheriff.
There is no denying that Jeffrey Epstein received preferential treatment in Florida during both the investigation of his sexual crimes, as well as his incarceration which was far from normal, and highly inappropriate.
Jeffrey Epstein is the ultimate “Florida Man” story. It’s a story of political power that is blind to party affiliation. A story of a broken justice system in which justice and accountability can be negotiated and brokered… if the price is right.
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