Victims sue FBI for Epstein probe failings

A dozen victims of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein sued the FBI on Wednesday, accusing the agency of failing to adequately investigate allegations against the accused sex offender.

The twelve complainants, all anonymized in court documents as “Jane Does”, claim that the United States’ leading national law enforcement agency “failed to adequately investigate the abuse” and ignored Epstein’s sexual interest in underage girls.

“For over two decades, the Federal Bureau of Investigation permitted Jeffrey Epstein to sex traffic and sexually abuse scores of children and young women by failing to do the job the American people expected of it,” according to the lawsuit filed in a New York federal court.

“As a result of the continued failures of the FBI, Jane Does 1-12 bring this lawsuit to get to the bottom — once and for all — of the FBI’s role in Epstein’s criminal sex trafficking ring.”

They are seeking an unspecified amount of compensation and damages.

The lawsuit follows the unsealing last month of court documents containing the identities of people linked to Epstein and his lover Ghislaine Maxwell.

Notably included in the unsealed documents, which contained almost 1,000 pages of depositions and statements, were former US presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, who have not been accused of any wrongdoing in the case.

The disclosure was part of a defamation proceeding between Maxwell, sentenced in 2022 to 20 years in prison, and a plaintiff against the duo, Virginia Giuffre.

Maxwell and Epstein were a couple in the early 1990s before becoming professional collaborators and accomplices in sex crimes for almost three decades.

Epstein, a financier with a powerful network in the United States and abroad, was accused of raping young girls, but his suicide by hanging in a New York prison in August 2019 halted his prosecution.

The suit goes on to claim that between 1996 and 2006, the FBI continued to receive reports, complaints and tips concerning the illegal sex trafficking of women and underage minors, sex abuse and human rights violations committed by Epstein and his associates.

“In March of 2005, the FBI was alerted by the Palm Beach Police Department of child prostitution. In fact, there was a 14-year-old girl who was solicited to Epstein’s mansion for sex,” it reads.

The agency, the suit claims, didn’t open an investigation until a year later.

“The gross negligence committed by the FBI resulted in the continued sexual abuse of Jane Does 1-12 at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein.”

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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