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, File)
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Over 100 claims have been filed to a fund set up to compensate victims of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and accusers have now been paid more than $30 million, the New York Times reported Monday.
Although the terms of individual settlements are secret, the Times reported that an anonymous said that tens of millions of dollars had already been doled out.
Fund administrator Jordana Feldman told the Times that, as part of the process for filing a claim with the fund, victims are interviewed over video.
“It gives the victims an opportunity to tell their story, and it gives me an opportunity to get to know them in a way that can’t be fully captured in a paper file,” she said. “I do see some of the rawness of the emotions. There is very deep, long-lasting impact that the abuse has had on their lives.”
Epstein died by hanging in a Manhattan jail in 2019, while he was awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges. He had previously been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor, which required him to register as a sex offender, but thanks to a now-infamous plea deal, he evaded more serious charges. For years, Epstein was trailed by accusations that he had sexually abused young girls at his palatial estates—including at his private islands in the Carribean, including one that’s sometimes known by the lurid nickname “Pedophile Island.”
Epstein’s death, ruled to be a suicide, left many of the now-adult women who’d accused him of abusing them without a way to seek justice. His estate’s executors created the compensation fund.
These types of funds are not uncommon. While they’ve been created for victims of national tragedies like the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, they have also been used to pay off people who say they were sexually abused by Catholic clergy.
Typically, people who have previously entered in a settlement are blocked from returning to a compensation fund. But that’s not the case with the Epstein compensation fund, Feldman told the Times, because of the questions surrounding Epstein’s past dealings with the law.