An alleged victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein whose testimony was central to Epstein’s 2019 indictment in New York, was known to federal authorities 11 years prior, ABC News reported on Thursday.
The woman, known as “Minor-Victim 1” in the 2019 indictment, was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Florida to arrange potential testimony in a 2008 criminal indictment of Epstein. However, before the victim could testify, prosecutors arranged a deal whereby Epstein pleaded guilty to state-level sex crime charges and was sentenced to 18 months in a county jail. The investigation into Epstein was then dropped, and the subpoena withdrawn.
“I certainly think with the FBI’s capabilities, even back then, that they could have unraveled the entire network from New York to Paris to New Mexico,” Spencer Kuvin, a West Palm Beach attorney who represented several of Epstein’s alleged victims in the Florida case in 2008, told ABC.
“The potential was always there. [The government] shut this thing down and pled this thing out before going through and talking to probably more than half of the women that were involved in this whole thing,” he continued. “Had they conducted a full investigation and taken their time, this would’ve been a whole different story.”
Federal authorities again contacted “Minor Victim 1” in 2019 to reopen the case against Epstein in New York. The 2019 indictment outlines the woman’s testimony in detail, in which she describes being targeted for sexual abuse by Epstein from age 14.
The Florida plea deal was arranged by then-federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who went on to become President Trump’s secretary of labor in 2017. Although the Trump administration initially defended him, Acosta resigned in July 2019 following criticism of his prior handling of the Epstein case.