Prosecutors, Florida sheriff’s office cleared of wrongdoing in Epstein investigation
A state investigation has cleared two officials with the State’s Attorney’s Office of Palm Beach County as well as the county’s sheriff’s office of wrongdoing regarding their involvement in accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 prosecution and imprisonment.
The Miami Herald reported Monday that an investigation carried out by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement cleared two former prosecutors with the Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office, Barry Krischer and Lanna Belohlavek, of any wrongdoing, stating that there was no evidence that the two took bribes or did anything else improper during their prosecution of Epstein, who took a plea deal on one felony charge of solicitation of prostitution.
Epstein’s 2008 conviction was heavily scrutinized in recent years following a reemergence of the claims against him; the now-deceased multimillionaire was accused of sexually exploiting dozens of young girls at his various properties.
The multimillionaire financier pleaded guilty to the one charge as a result of similar allegations in Florida in 2008, and served 13 months of an 18-month sentence while being granted a work release agreement that allowed him to leave prison six days a week.
State investigators reportedly cleared the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office over that work agreement as part of the investigation, finding that Epstein met all the requirements for such a deal while also pointing out that it “appears that Epstein received differential treatment” from other inmates.
Epstein was indicted on a host of new sex trafficking charges in 2019, and his connections to top political and business figures were being scrutinized when he died in his Manhattan prison cell, with officials ruling his death a suicide.
His longtime former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, is also now behind bars awaiting trial on similar charges.