Federal prosecutors in the Jeffrey Epstein sex-trafficking investigation sought to reassure his accusers that the system would not let them down in a meeting after the women told their stories Tuesday in federal court, according to several people involved in the case.
Some of the accusers and their attorneys met with the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, and the FBI on Tuesday afternoon, the sources said.
Berman and William Sweeney, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, thanked the victims for their bravery in coming forward, and emphasized that the criminal investigation into the accused sex trafficker's potential enablers is ongoing, according to four people with knowledge of the meeting.
Attendees described the meeting as being highly emotional, with repeated promises that the victims would not be let down by the justice system.
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When asked about the meeting, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
After Epstein’s death, Berman issued a statement in which he addressed the accusers, saying in part: “To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing.”
Berman’s office brought charges of sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of children against Epstein on July 6 when he landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after a flight from Paris. The financier killed himself Aug. 10 while awaiting trial, according to the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office.
Tuesday’s court hearing was scheduled at the behest of U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who is overseeing the case. Prosecutors had filed a notice with the court saying that in light of Epstein’s death, they would be ending the case against him.
In court on Tuesday, Courtney Wild, one of Epstein’s accusers, said, “I feel very angry and sad that justice has never been served in this case.”
In an interview with NBC News, Chauntae Davies, another Epstein accuser, said: “I've waited for this moment for so long and gone through so much to come out and tell my story, and to tell the full story and to go through all the pain that that's come with, and to think that we finally had some justice, and then he dies.”
In total, the court heard from 23 victims directly or through statements read by their attorneys.