Judge releases transcripts from 2006 grand jury investigation of Jeffrey Epstein 

Caption info: This photo provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein on March 28, 2017. 
Caption info: This photo provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein on March 28, 2017. 

By Jana J. Pruet 
Contributing Writer 

A Florida judge has ordered the release of the transcripts from a 2006 grand jury investigation into sex trafficking and rape allegations made against the late millionaire and financier Jeffrey Epstein. 

The judge’s release of the approximately 150 pages on Monday afternoon came as a surprise as the issue of when and how to release the documents was to be addressed at a hearing scheduled for next week. In February, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill allowing the documents to be made public on July 1 or a later date as ordered by Circuit Judge Luis Delgado. 

“The details in the record will be outrageous to decent people,” wrote Judge Delgado in his order. “The testimony taken by the Grand Jury concerns activity ranging from grossly unacceptable to rape — all of the conduct at issue is sexually deviant, disgusting, and criminal.” 

Following the grand jury investigation, Epstein cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors in South Florida in 2008 that allowed him to escape more severe federal charges in exchange for a guilty plea to state charges of procuring an individual under 18 for prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. 

That deal has been widely criticized for being too lenient. 

In 2019, Epstein was charged with federal sex trafficking crimes in New York — where he also had a mansion that was a scene of alleged abuse — after a series of articles published by the Miami Herald renewed public interest in the case, including interviews with victims who had been pursuing civil lawsuits against him. 

Delgado, in his order, described Epstein as “the most infamous pedophile in American history.” 

Epstein, 66, died in his New York City jail cell in August 2019, and the death was officially ruled a suicide. 

“For almost 20 years, the story of how Jeffrey Epstein victimized some of Palm Beach County’s most vulnerable has been the subject of much anger and has at times diminished the public’s perception of the criminal justice system,” the judge wrote. 

“Epstein is indeed notorious and infamous and is widely reported to have flaunted his wealth while cavorting with politicians, billionaires and even British Royalty,” he continued. “It is understandable that given those reports, the public has a great curiosity about what was widely reported by news [agencies] as ‘special treatment’ regarding his prosecution.” 

The court filings are being unsealed in batches on a rolling basis. 

Monday’s document release comes months after two batches of court filings were unsealed. 

In January, more than 300 pages of exhibits revealed the names of numerous notable public figures who had been named as witnesses to the decades-long saga. 

Caden Pearson and The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

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