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Epstein accusers testify weeks after his pre-trial suicide

August 27, 2019

Several of Epstein's accusers have spoken during a hearing in the late financier's sex-trafficking case in New York. Up to 30 people were expected to address the Manhattan court.

Attorney David Boies (Right) walks with some of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sexual abuse victims
Image: picture-alliance/Zuma/E. Michot

Several women who say they were victims of Jeffrey Epstein expressed their anger on Tuesday over his suicide .

"He is a coward," said Courtney Wild, who accused Epstein of sexually abusing her in Florida at age 14. "Justice has never been served in this case."

Wild is one of many women who describe themselves as survivors, and who said they hoped that coming forward publicly would help the healing process.

"I will not let him win in death," another woman, Chauntae Davies, told the court.

'Epstein death must be investigated'

Another victim, Sarah Ransome — who said Epstein pressured her into unwanted sex when she was in her early 20s — encouraged prosecutors in their efforts to bring others to justice, saying: "Finish what you started."

Another woman, who chose to remain anonymous, said Epstein's death must be investigated.

"It didn't feel good to wake up that morning and find that he allegedly committed suicide," she said, holding back tears.

US District Judge Richard Berman presided over the case after federal prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking last month.

Berman offered Epstein's accusers the unusual opportunity of being heard in court after the financier's suicide earlier this month denied them the chance to testify against him at a trial.

Epstein lawyer questions suicide ruling

One of Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers told a judge that an expert hired by the family says injuries to his neck were more consistent with homicide than suicide.

"Find out what happened to our client," Attorney Martin Weinberg told the judge. "We're quite angry." A prosecutor argued the judge would not have jurisdiction.

Epstein was found dead on August 10 at a federal jail in Manhattan, New York. A coroner ruled the death as suicide.

Epstein had been awaiting trial on charges for the sex trafficking of dozens of underage girls as young as 14 in the early 2000s.

The unusual circumstances surrounding his death sparked controversy and authorities demanded an investigation into his death.

Opening Tuesday's session, the judge called Epstein's suicide a "rather stunning turn of events."

kw/msh (AP, Reuters)

If you are suffering from serious emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can find information on where to find such help, no matter where you live in the world, at this website: www.befrienders.org

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