Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted financier pedophile, will learned today if he will remain incarcerated pending the outcome of his trail on charges of Sex Trafficking Conspiracy and Sex Trafficking.
Epstein is charged under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 which was authored and shepherded through Congress by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ-4).
MMM asked Smith to comment on the Epstein indictment and the TVPA’s impact on prosecuting human trafficking.
“Nearly 20 years ago, I wrote the Trafficking Victims Protection Act which is being used in the Epstein prosecution, to give law enforcement better tools to prosecute, convict and jail human traffickers—and to help rescue and protect victims, who are mostly women and children,” said Smith who also authored four subsequent laws reauthorizing, strengthening and expanding America’s anti-human trafficking programs.
“According to the International Labor Organization, 4.8 million people are exploited in sex trafficking, and 1 in 4 trafficking victims are children. The US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman has said that victims in the Epstein case could be as young as 14. Laws like the TVPA are critical for fighting trafficking in all of its ugly manifestations and for providing help and justice for victims.”
Epstein is accused a sexually abusing teen aged girls in New York and Florida. Since the news of his indictment and arrest broke last week, new accusers are coming forward from other locations as well.
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are expected to argue that Epstein faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail if convicted, as well as the forfeiture of his assets used in his crime—his Manhattan and Palm Beach residences and a private jet—gives him tremendous motive to flee before trial. The prosecutors will argue that his vast wealth and network of powerful friends gives him the means to flee and remain at large, hidden from federal authorities, for the rest of his life.
From 2001 through 2017, nearly 3000 people have been prosecuted under the TVPA with more than 2500 being convicted, according to Smith’s office.