Jeffrey Epstein’s 2006 Grand Jury Records to Be Released Under New Florida Law

Kypros/Getty Images
Kypros/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a new law into effect that will allow the grand jury testimony in a 2006 hearing against Jeffrey Epstein to be released for the first time, giving the public a window into the earliest accusations against him.

“Justice delayed is justice denied, and I think in many respects, this whole ordeal has proven that to be true,” DeSantis told reporters at a Palm Beach news conference where he signed the bill into law. He was joined by two of Epstein’s accusers, Haley Robson and Jena-Lisa Jones.

The bill allows grand jury records to be released if the suspect at the center of the inquiry is dead and if the crimes involve sexual misconduct against minors. The 2006 grand jury inquiry in Palm Beach meets both of those criteria; Epstein died in jail in 2019 by suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

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“Epstein was charged for his crimes in 2006, and we are finally going to learn why,” Jones, one of Epstein’s alleged victims, said at the news conference. “We have been left in the dark for so long with no answers.”

Had the public known the details of Epstein’s 2006 inquiry, Jones added, authorities could have prevented him from sexually abusing dozens of other girls and women in the years that followed.

In 2006, Palm Beach police recommended multiple felony charges against Epstein after an investigation uncovered sexual abuse against underaged girls. But the state attorney at the time chose to present evidence to the grand jury instead of charging Epstein directly, sealing the names of those involved and the details of the accusations.

The new Florida law will release those details when it takes effect July 1.

“The public deserves to know who participated in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” DeSantis said. “Nobody should be protected from facing justice due to their wealth or status, and those who harm children should be exposed and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

The inquiry resulted in a 2008 plea deal for the late financier, which DeSantis criticized as little more than “a slap on the wrist.” Epstein was sentenced to 18 months of jail time, during which he was allowed to leave for work, followed by 12 months of house arrest, and was required to register as a sex offender.

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