A federal prosecutor in the Jeffrey Epstein case made the expected move in court on Thursday of acknowledging a lack of transparency in dealing with one of the late billionaire’s and Palm Beach resident’s victims. The prosecutor apologized during oral arguments made before a federal appeals court panel in Miami.
“Courtney Wild is especially happy that the government finally in open court admitted to violating her rights and said that they’re sorry, and I think that that goes a long way for Courtney,” said attorney Brad Edwards, standing outside federal court with Ms. Wild.
Wild, who initially used the name “Jane Doe,” sued federal prosecutors in 2008. She and another victim claimed that their rights had been violated under the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act, because prosecutors did not consult with them before Epstein struck controversial plea deal.
Epstein ended up serving 13 months at the Palm Beach County Jail, with much of that time being spent on a work-release program at a downtown office, along with occasional visits to his Palm Beach estate.
Early last year, a federal judge in West Palm Beach ruled that Epstein’s agreement with prosecutors violated the law, since his victims were not made aware of it beforehand.
As the judge was considering the possible reopening of that case, Epstein committed suicide last August while in custody in New York. He had been awaiting trial on new, separate charges.
The judge ultimately decided to not proceed with Wild’s suit.
Ms. Wild appealed that decision, arguing there remained potential remedies, such as reopening the Non-Prosecution Agreement, with the possibility of filing charges against alleged Epstein accomplices, who were protected by the secret deal.
“If he invalidates the Non-Prosecution Agreement, then Courtney can confer with the prosecutors about the other people who committed crimes against her, and in their discretion, if they believe prosecution is warranted, they could then charge those co-conspirators,” according to Edwards.
Although the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, is based in Atlanta, judges sometimes hear oral arguments at satellite locations, one of which is Miami.
There is no word on when the court might rule on Wild’s appeal.