The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office has launched an internal affairs investigation into how it handled convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's work release following a 2007 plea agreement that allowed him to work out of his Palm Beach office for up to 12 hours per day, according to the Miami Herald - which has been instrumental in Epstein's arrest 12 years later.
Specifically, it will look at the decision more than a decade ago to allow Epstein to be free 12 hours a day on work release while serving a short sentence in the county stockade on a prostitution-related charge.
On Friday, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw — the same sheriff who oversaw the controversial work release arrangement — ordered the investigation be done.
“Sheriff Bradshaw takes these matters very seriously and wants to determine if any actions taken by the deputies assigned to monitor Epstein during his work release program violated any agency rules and regulations, during the time he was on PBSO work release program,” a news release said. -Miami Herald
BREAKING: Palm Beach sheriff opens internal affairs investigation into handling of Jeffrey Epstein https://t.co/FzTEI9Vo5u— NewsChute (@NewsChute) July 19, 2019
Epstein was given a slap on the wrist over allegations that he sexually abused girls as young as 14 - many of whom were coerced into sex acts after being told they were there to offer massages.
The US Attorney's office, headed by disgraced former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, scrapped a 53-page sex-trafficking indictment against Epstein, instead allowing him to plea guilty to solicitation of a minor - a much lesser charge. He served 13 months in the county stockade vs. the decades-long sentence he faced under the federal indictment, according to the Herald.
Epstein has been accused of sexually abusing girls while on work release, according to attorney Brad Edwards, who represents some of Epstein's accusers.
During a Tuesday press conference in New York City, Edwards introduced a woman named Courtney Wild, who says Epstein began abusing her when she was 14-years-old, according to Business Insider.
Edwards said during the press conference that he raised the accusation to challenge the idea that Epstein was a model citizen while in jail. Edwards also said that Epstein was in his office most of the day during his 18-month sentence, of which he served 13 months, and that he had female visitors under the age of 21.
Edwards said Epstein had sexual interactions with the female visitors that constituted abuseand were similar in nature to the abuses described in the indictment and charges Epstein faces in court, which are one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. -Business Insider
Wild appeared in court on Monday during Epstein's bail hearing, saying "I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein starting at the age of 14," while standing just feet from the pedophile money manager.
Epstein was denied bail on Thursday, with Wild's appearance cited in Judge Richard M. Berman's decision.