Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was supposed to check in with New York City police officers every 90 days since he was registered as a sex offender in 2011 ― but he never once showed up, according to a New York Post report.
The financier ― charged Monday in an indictment alleging child sex trafficking involving dozens of girls ― should have reported in person to the NYPD to verify his address 34 times since a court ordered him to do so eight years ago. But NYPD sources told the Post that Epstein never did once, a felony violation of the Sex Offender Registration Act that carries a maximum four-year prison term for the first offense.
The NYPD reportedly maintains that Epstein didn’t have to follow the check-in requirement because his primary residence was on a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. But state Supreme Court Justice Ruth Pickholz rejected that very argument during a hearing in 2011, when the check-in requirement was set.
“I am sorry he may have to come here every 90 days,” the judge reportedly said at the time. “He can give up his New York home if he does not want to come every 90 days.”
Epstein did not give up his New York home. As part of the new indictment against him, federal prosecutors say they intend to seize his mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where some of the alleged abuses of girls as young as 14 occurred.
Epstein has been able skirt harsh punishment over the years, even after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to prostitution charges and registered as a sex offender in Florida. His padded fall started there ― he struck a sweetheart plea deal with U.S. attorneys in Miami, was allowed work release and spent very little time in jail.
He has reportedly moved freely through Hollywood circles as a sex offender, receiving hot-ticket premier invites and hosting dinner parties with celebrities, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
During the 2011 hearing, a Manhattan district attorney uncharacteristically asked that Epstein be given a low-risk Level 1 sex offender status, despite the seriousness of his crimes. The judge rejected that request, which would have allowed Epstein to skip the check-ins.
It wasn’t until a Miami Herald expose, casting new light on Epstein’s abuses in a three-part series in November, that Epstein stopped getting as much leeway. The Herald investigation revealed Epstein’s ties with other famous people like former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump. Clinton reportedly flew in Epstein’s private plane on several occasions, and Trump once described him as a “terrific guy.”