Roman Polanski, as writer Conchita Sarnoff declares, is not the only rich pedophile walking away with a slap on the wrist.
Film director Roman Polanski is not the only convicted pedophile to walk free this month and return to a life of privilege. On Wednesday, hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein completes his one-year house arrest in Palm Beach, which has been even less arduous than Polanski’s time at a Swiss ski chalet.
Here’s what he did:
In March 2005, Reiter’s department, acting on a complaint from the Florida parents of a 14-year-old girl, launched an investigation that would eventually uncover a pattern of predatory behavior stretching back years and spanning several continents, knowingly enabled by Epstein’s associates and employees. Two or three times a day, whenever Epstein was in Palm Beach, a teenage girl would be brought to the mansion on El Brillo Way. (“The younger the better,” he instructed Haley Robson, a local teenager who was paid to bring other girls to the house, and who declared, on a police tape, that she was “like a Heidi Fleiss,” the infamous California madam.) Advised that she would be giving a “massage,” the girl was then pressured to remove her clothes, submit to fondling and a large vibrator, and sometimes lured into more invasive sexual contact. Each girl was paid $200 or more, depending on how far things went, by house manager Alfredo Rodriguez, who was instructed always to have $2,000 cash on hand.
The Palm Beach Police Department identified 17 local girls who had contact with Epstein before the age of consent; the youngest was 14, and many were younger than 16. And that was just at one of Epstein’s many homes around the world—he also owns property in New York, Santa Fe, Paris, London, and the Caribbean. Subsequent investigation by the FBI, reaching as far back as 2001, indentified roughly 40 victims, not counting Nadia Marcinkova, whom Epstein referred to as his “Yugoslavian sex slave” because he had imported her from the Balkans at age 14. Now 24, Marcinkova became a member of the household and is alleged to have participated in the sexual contact with underage girls.