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Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually abusing dozens of girls, was found dead early Saturday morning in his Manhattan jail cell.
The initial call to the jail was cardiac arrest. There was no immediate confirmation on how he died, but multiple reports said Epstein died by suicide.
Epstein’s attorney Martin Weinberg told Fox News on Saturday that he could not “confirm the rumor” that his client had killed himself.
Here is a timeline of the Epstein case leading up to his eventual death:
March 2005 – A 14-year-old girl and her parents report that Jeffrey Epstein molested her at a mansion in Palm Beach. She said a female acquaintance and classmate at Royal Palm Beach High School had taken her to the house to give him a massage in exchange for money.
JEFFREY EPSTEIN FOUND DEAD IN MANHATTAN JAIL CELL; MULTIPLE REPORTS CLAIM DEATH BY SUICIDE
April 2005 – Palm Beach police begin trash pulls at Epstein’s home, discovering a telephone message for Epstein with the girl’s name on it, and a time that matched the time that she told police she was there. They find the names and phone numbers of other girls on message slips in his trash.
October 2005 – With the police probe in full swing, one of Epstein’s assistants calls one of the girls just as she is being questioned by police. Investigators begin interviewing more girls, as well as Epstein’s butlers, who tell them that Epstein had frequent visits from girls throughout the day. On Oct. 20, they execute a search warrant at his house on El Brillo Way in Palm Beach.
May 2006 – Police sign a probable cause affidavit charging Epstein and two of his assistants with multiple counts of unlawful sex acts with a minor. The Palm Beach state attorney, Barry Krischer, instead refers the case to a grand jury.
June 2006 – The grand jury, after hearing from only one girl, returns an indictment of one count of solicitation of prostitution. The charge does not reflect that the victim in question and others were minors.
July 2006 – Epstein’s powerhouse legal team tries to negotiate a deal with the State Attorney’s Office. Lawyers discuss a deferred prosecution in which Epstein would enter a pretrial intervention program and serve no jail time.
JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ALLEGED SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM NAMED BILL RICHARDSON, GEORGE MITCHELL IN NEWLY RELEASED DOCUMENTS
July 2006 – After pressure from the Palm Beach police chief, the FBI opens a federal investigation, dubbed “Operation Leap Year.’’ Documents list the possible crime as “child prostitution.’’
November 2006 – The FBI begins interviewing potential witnesses and victims from Florida, New York and New Mexico.
May 2007 – As the U.S. Attorney’s Office prepares to present the case to a federal grand jury, Epstein’s attorneys request a meeting to discuss the investigation.
June 2007 – A 53-page indictment is prepared by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as, simultaneously, plea negotiations are initiated with Epstein’s legal team.
July 2007 – Grand jury subpoenas are issued for Epstein’s computers, which were apparently removed from his Palm Beach home prior to the police search.
August 2007 – The U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, enters into direct discussions about the plea agreement; a motion to compel production of Epstein’s computers is delayed.
September 2007 – Federal prosecutors draw up several federal plea agreements that are rejected by Epstein and his attorneys. Epstein signs a nonprosecution agreement on Sept. 24, but his attorneys continue to delay his court appearance.
October 2007 – With the non-prosecution agreement still being debated, Acosta meets with Epstein lawyer Jay Lefkowitz at the West Palm Beach Marriott on Okeechobee Road to discuss finalizing a deal. Among the terms agreed upon: that the victims would not be notified, that the deal would be kept under seal and all grand jury subpoenas would be canceled.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell together in 2005 (Getty)
November 2007 – Epstein’s lawyers object to an addendum to the agreement. The provision called for a special master to appoint an attorney to represent Epstein victims’ rights to civil compensation.
December 2007 – The two sides continue to debate the addendum. Epstein attorney Kenneth Starr asks for a review of the agreement by the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, further delaying its execution. Victims are told the investigation is continuing.
January 2008 – Epstein attorney, Lefkowitz, calls Acosta, telling him his client will not go through with the agreement because it requires him to register as a sex offender.
February 2008 – With the plea negotiations and the Justice Department review still in limbo, the FBI continues its probe, locating more witnesses and evidence.
March 2008 – Preparations are made for a new federal grand jury presentation. In court documents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office notes that Epstein’s victims are being harassed by his lawyers, who are not specifically named.
May 2008 – The Justice Department issues finding that, if a plea deal is not reached, Epstein can be federally prosecuted.
June 2008 – Epstein’s lawyers revisit plea negotiations, and on June 30, Epstein appears in a Palm Beach County courtroom. He pleads guilty to state charges: one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor under the age of 18. He is sentenced to 18 months in jail, followed by a year of community control or house arrest. He is adjudicated as a convicted sex offender who must register twice a year in Florida.
July 2008 – Epstein’s victims learn about his plea in state court after the fact. They file an emergency petition to force federal prosecutors to comply with the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which mandates certain rights for crime victims, including the right to be informed about plea agreements and the right to appear at sentencing.
August 2008 – Epstein’s victims learn that he has already been sent to jail, and that the federal investigation is over. They seek to have his plea agreement unsealed, but federal prosecutors argue against releasing the agreement, commencing a yearlong court battle to learn the terms of Epstein’s plea bargain.
This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)
October 2008 – Epstein begins work release from the county stockade. He is picked up by his private driver six days a week and transported to an office in West Palm Beach, where he accepts visitors for up to 12 hours a day. He returns to the stockade in the evenings to sleep.
7 July 2009 – Epstein is released from the Palm Beach County stockade, five months early. He must register as a sex offender and is on probation for a year, confined to his Palm Beach home except to travel to his office in West Palm Beach. However, records show he frequently makes trips to Manhattan and to his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
August 2009 – Palm Beach Police Capt. George Frick finds Epstein walking along A1A in the middle of the afternoon, when he was supposed to be at work in his office in downtown West Palm Beach. Epstein says he is walking to work, even though the location where he is found is not a direct route to his office. His probation officer says Epstein has permission to get some exercise.
September 2009 – The federal non-prosecution agreement is made public. By September, at least a dozen civil lawsuits have been filed by women who allege they were molested by Epstein when they were underage. Epstein begins the process of settling them out of court.
November 2009 – One of Epstein’s former butlers tries to sell to an undercover FBI agent a black book filled with the names of hundreds of girls and young women that Epstein allegedly procured for sex and massages. The butler tells FBI agents he witnessed nude underage girls at Epstein’s pool and had known that the millionaire was having sex with them. He also said he saw pornography involving underage girls on Epstein’s computers. The butler/houseman, Alfredo Rodriguez, is later charged with obstruction of justice and sentenced to federal prison. He dies in 2015. The contents of the black book become public as part of several civil lawsuits.
April 2010 – Flight logs obtained as part of civil lawsuits against Epstein show an assortment of politicians, academics, celebrities, heads of state and world leaders flying on Epstein’s jets in the early 2000s. Among them: former President Bill Clinton, former national security adviser Sandy Berger, former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana and lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
March 2011 – Two of Epstein’s victims file a motion in federal court accusing the government of violating their rights by failing to notify them about the plea deal and keeping it secret. Among other things, they want the plea deal invalidated in the hopes of sending Epstein to prison. They accuse federal prosecutors of deceiving them with “false notification letters.’’
September 2011 – U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra rejects the U.S. Attorney’s Office argument that it was under no obligation to notify victims prior to striking a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein because there were no federal charges filed against him. The decision marks a victory for Epstein’s victims, but the case will drag on for seven more years.
November 2011 – Epstein must register in New York as the highest and most dangerous level of sex offender, despite efforts by him and the New York District Attorney’s office to lower the classification. A Level 3 status means “high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists,” according to the state’s guidelines.
March-December 2012 – Calling himself a “celebrated philanthropist’’ and a “renowned educational investor,’’ Epstein undertakes a public relations campaign to counter bad press about his sexual exploits. His foundation donates millions to scientific research and sponsors global conferences on ways to achieve world peace and save the planet. He funds cancer and educational research projects around the country.
January 2015 – Virginia Roberts files court papers in Florida claiming that she was forced by Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew and lawyer Alan Dershowitz when she was underage. In a sworn affidavit, she provides photographs of her with the prince and with Epstein’s close associate, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. She claims Maxwell worked as Epstein’s madam, which she denies. Dershowitz and the prince deny her claims as well, setting off a series of legal actions between Dershowitz and Roberts’ attorneys that are later resolved in an out-of-court settlement.
April 2015 – A federal judge rules that Roberts cannot join the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act lawsuit and that her affidavit — accusing Prince Andrew and Dershowitz of having sex with her when she was underage — be stricken from the case. Dershowitz said the ruling meant he was vindicated. However, the judge does not address the veracity of Roberts’ claims, writing: “The factual details regarding with whom and where the Jane Does engaged in sexual activities are immaterial and impertinent to this central claim.’’
September 2015 – Roberts sues Maxwell in federal court in New York, claiming that Epstein’s alleged madam defamed her in public statements in the media. The lawsuit is widely viewed as a vessel for Epstein’s victims to expose the scope of Epstein’s crimes. Several civil 9 lawsuits filed the same year allege that Epstein and Maxwell operated an international sex trafficking operation.
June 2016 – A lawsuit is filed in Manhattan by a woman who once used the name Katie Johnson, claiming that she was raped by thenpresidential candidate Donald Trump at a party at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 1994 when she was 13 years old. Trump and Epstein both categorically deny it ever happened.
November 2016 – Johnson backs out of a press conference just days before Election Day, saying she had been threatened and was fearful. She later drops the lawsuit.
February 2017 – President Trump nominates former Miami federal prosecutor Acosta as U.S. secretary of labor. Acosta is compelled at his confirmation hearing to briefly address questions about the deal he approved for Epstein. One lawmaker requests more records from the Epstein case. Acosta is confirmed.
June 2017 – President Trump nominates former Miami federal prosecutor Acosta as U.S. secretary of labor. Acosta is compelled at his confirmation hearing to briefly address questions about the deal he approved for Epstein. One lawmaker requests more records from the Epstein case. Acosta is confirmed.
December 2018 – Epstein settled a defamation lawsuit brought against him by a lawyer for some of the accusers, Bradley Edwards, who said Epstein tried to derail his representation of the women and ruin his career. In settling, Epstein apologized and agreed to pay an undisclosed amount.
February 2019 – The Justice Department said it had opened an investigation into federal prosecutors’ handling of Epstein’s plea deal. The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility wrote in a letter Wednesday to U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, that it would examine whether professional misconduct occurred in the highly publicized case.
February 2019 – U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that federal prosecutors overseeing the Jeffrey Epstein sexual-abuse case violated the law by concealing from his underage alleged victims the existence of the plea deal that shielded Epstein from federal charges. 10 Concealing the deal violated the 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act, a statutory bill of rights for victims of federal crimes, Judge Marra concluded
July 2, 2019 – A sealed indictment was filed charging Epstein with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors
July 6, 2019 – Epstein is arrested in Teterboro, New Jersey
July 8, 2019 – Epstein indictment is unsealed. Epstein pleads not guilty at his arraignment.
July 12, 2019 – Labor Secretary Acosta announces he will step down
July 18, 2019 – Epstein is denied bail
July 23, 2019 – Epstein reportedly found unconscious and with neck injuries in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center
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August 9, 2019 – Virginia Roberts Giuffre, named two prominent Democratic politicians – former Sen. George Mitchell and ex-New Mexico governor and Clinton cabinet official Bill Richardson, in more than 2,000 documents unsealed by federal prosecutors. The papers included affidavits and depositions of key witnesses in the lawsuit Giuffre filed against Epstein and his associated, Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015
August 10, 2019 – Jeffrey Epstein found dead in his Manhattan jail cell
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