Jeffrey Epstein used his private hideaway in the U.S. Virgin Islands to sexually abuse numerous underage girls for nearly two decades—tracking their availability and movements through a computerized database, according to a new lawsuit.
On Wednesday, the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands sued the estate of the late sex offender for the alleged abuse, saying Epstein “trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted and held captive underaged girls and young women at his properties in the Virgin Islands” until 2018.
“The conduct of Epstein and his associates shocks the conscience and betrays the deepest principles and laws of the Virgin Islands,” Attorney General Denise N. George said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “The Virgin Islands is not, and will not be, a safe haven for human trafficking and sexual exploitation.”
The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, seeks the forfeiture of Epstein’s two islands—Little Saint James and Great Saint James—as well as the dissolution of numerous shell companies the disgraced financier allegedly established in the territory as fronts for his sex-trafficking enterprise. The islands are worth an estimated $86 million.
“Epstein created a network of companies and individuals who participated in and conspired with him in a pattern of criminal activity related to the sex trafficking, forced labor, sexual assault, child abuse and sexual servitude of these young women,” the lawsuit states.
The 66-year-old died by suicide in August in his Manhattan jail cell after being arrested on federal sex-trafficking charges. In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to state sex-crime charges in Florida for paying for sexual services from an underage girl.
The allegations in the latest lawsuit against him provide shocking new details about Epstein’s wrongdoing.
According to the new lawsuit, Epstein “deceptively lured” girls—whose ages ranged from 12 to 17—“with money and promises of employment, career opportunities, and school assistance” to the Virgin Islands. They sometimes traveled under fake modeling visas.
Some of the girls went to the island “under the pretext that they would be paid substantially merely to provide massages” to Epstein and others, the lawsuit claims. But once on the secluded island, the victims were “pressured and coerced to engage in sexual acts” with Epstein and his associates.
The girls weren’t allowed to leave the island and were forced to “to recruit others to perform services and engage in sexual acts—a trafficking pyramid scheme,” the lawsuit says.
Epstein and his associates also “kept a computerized list of underage girls who were in or proximate to the Virgin Islands, and able to be transported to Epstein’s residence at Little St. James,” the lawsuit states.
The suit alleges one “15-year-old victim was forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off Little St. James Island.” After organizing a search party to locate the girl, Epstein allegedly “kept her captive, by, among other things, confiscating her passport.”
Another girl also tried to escape after being recruited to give Epstein massages, prompting the disgraced billionaire to suggest “physical restraint or harm if she failed to cooperate” after being found, according to the documents.
The alleged abuse occurred as recently as 2018, when “air traffic controllers and other airport personnel reported seeing Epstein leave his plane with young girls, some of whom appeared to be between the age of 11 and 18 years,” the lawsuit says.
In July 2018, Virgin Island Department of Justice investigators also tried to enter Little St. James to conduct an address verification in connection with his sex offender registration but were denied entrance after he claimed the island’s dock was his “front door.”
More than a dozen women have filed lawsuits against Epstein’s estate since his death, alleging everything from exploitation to sexual assault. Wednesday’s lawsuit, however, is the first to be filed from the Virgin Islands, where Epstein maintained his legal permanent residence. Days before he was found dead inside his jail cell, Epstein even filed his will in a Virgins Islands court.
The new lawsuit also seeks to stop Epstein’s executor, Darren K. Indyke, from turning the billionaire’s vast wealth into a victim’s compensatory fund. The fund, the lawsuit states, may hinder a public reckoning for several Epstein accusers who are still seeking financial compensation.
“The estate continues to engage in a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein enterprise,” the lawsuit said.