Epstein had his own office, phone line at Harvard even after his 2008 conviction of soliciting sex from minors
Harvard University admitted Friday that Jeffrey Epstein had his own office and phone line at the university and also made several visits there even after he was convicted in 2008 of soliciting sex from minors.
According to a new report from the university, Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself in jail last year while awaiting sex crimes charges, visited Harvard more than 40 times after his 2008 conviction and unveiled deep ties between him and the university, with which he had no official affiliation.
University President Lawrence Bacow said in a letter to the Harvard community that Harvard accepted $9.1 million from Epstein between 1998 and 2008 to support research and faculty activities. He also said the university donated $200,937 in unspent contributions from Epstein to organizations supporting human trafficking and sexual assault victims.
While the hallowed institution did not accept donations from Epstein after 2008, the financier was allowed to make 40 visits between 2010 and 2018 to Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, which Epstein helped create with a $6.5 million donation. He was also granted access to the program’s office and given his own office space.
Martin Nowak, a math and biology professor who headed the program, “permitted Epstein to have unrestricted access to Harvard offices,” even though he was aware Epstein was a registered sex offender, the report said.
Nowak also allowed Epstein to use the program’s website to promote his own website, and incorrectly told a foundation that provides grants that he had matching funds from a foundation of Epstein’s.
Nowak was placed on paid administrative leave following the review pending an investigation on whether he broke the university’s policies and standards of professional conduct.
Among other things, the review into Epstein’s affiliation with Harvard recommended the university make more stringent its reviews of potentially controversial donations and adjust the way it appoints visiting fellows.
“The report issued today describes principled decision-making but also reveals institutional and individual shortcomings that must be addressed — not only for the sake of the University, but also in recognition of the courageous individuals who sought to bring Epstein to justice,” wrote Bacow.
Epstein was ultimately charged last year with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy over allegations that he sexually assaulted girls as young as 14 years old. He was found hanging in his cell in Manhattan in August.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also admitted earlier this year that it had taken $850,000 from Epstein from 2002 to 2017, and that the financier had visited campus at least nine times between 2013 to 2017.