Attorney Who Represented Epstein Victims Talks About Charges
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is defending his role in the plea deal that protected financier Jeffrey Epstein from sex-trafficking charges more than a decade ago. In a press conference yesterday, Acosta declined to apologize to victims for crafting that deal that gave Epstein just 13 months of confinement and kept victims in the dark.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
ALEX ACOSTA: We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight. And we live in a very different world. Today's world treats victims very, very differently.
MARTIN: Now, some of those alleged Florida victims and their representatives are speaking out. Spencer Kuvin is litigation director at the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb in West Palm Beach, Fla. And he represented three victims in the original case against Epstein. He joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.
SPENCER KUVIN: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: Do the victims you represented back then feel vindicated now in light of the Epstein indictment and charges in New York?
KUVIN: I can tell you that - and recently speaking with at least one of those victims, she is very ecstatic that he's now behind bars but also very frustrated at how things played out those many years ago. And she feels that Mr. Acosta's office really did not care for the victims as much as he seems to be leading on to now.
MARTIN: What should we understand about the case against Epstein in 2008?
KUVIN: Back in 2008, they had over 40 women that we know of, that the FBI had spoken to and interviewed. And despite that, they had only talked with only about two or three at the U.S. attorney's office. And then they decided, for some reason, to shelve everything and give him a sweetheart deal that allowed him out almost eight hours a day during the day. And basically, he only slept in jail at nights and then during the weekends and that was it.
MARTIN: So it's your belief that the attorneys back then, including Alex Acosta, just didn't pursue the evidence.
KUVIN: I know he didn't. In fact, we were trying, as advocates on behalf of the victims, to contact his office and talk to him and find out what they were doing and how it was going and what was happening. And they continually kept us in the dark - us and the victims - and never informed us about what was going on.
MARTIN: What did you make of the labor secretary's comments yesterday?
KUVIN: I literally - while I was watching it, I laughed out loud at a couple of points. You know, the victims that are being brought forward now by the Southern District of New York, these victims existed at the time that Acosta was investigating his case, but yet he still seems to say that this is new evidence. Basically, it's evidence that he didn't uncover. His office failed to find these other victims that existed in New York. And now he's saying it's somehow new, but it just points out his own office's failures.
MARTIN: Do you think there's a chance that the women you represented in that Florida case - could any of them come forward to testify publicly if Epstein goes to trial in New York?
KUVIN: I know for a fact that one of them has told me that she is ready, willing and able to testify if they need her to do so. We've spoken with the U.S. attorney's office out of their regional office in Atlanta as recent as last month because of Judge Marra, down here at the federal court, nullifying the non-prosecution agreement. So as a result of that, you know, we're willing to testify and they want to come forward.
MARTIN: Spencer Kuvin. He represented three of the alleged victims in Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse case in Florida more than a decade ago. Thank you so much for your time this morning. We appreciate it.
KUVIN: My pleasure.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.