WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision throwing out a lawsuit filed by a woman who accused billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing her when she was a child.
Courtney Wild's lawsuit claimed Florida federal prosecutors failed to consult victims more than a decade ago when reaching a secret plea deal with Epstein, who died in jail in New York in 2019.
The high court said Tuesday it would not consider the case. As is typical, the court did not comment in turning away the case, which was included on a list of cases the court said it would not take. The Biden administration had urged the justices not to hear the case.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against Wild in April 2020, saying a lower court had correctly thrown out her lawsuit.
Wild’s lawsuit revolved around a secret plea negotiation with Epstein that spared him serious federal charges and permitted him to plead guilty to lesser state prostitution-related charges in Palm Beach County, Florida. Epstein spent 13 months in jail while being allowed to go to his office almost daily, paid financial settlements to victims and was registered as a sex offender.
The lawsuit claimed the deal was never discussed with any of his victims in violation of the Crime Victims Rights Act.
Epstein was later charged federally in New York. He was accused of paying underage girls hundreds of dollars in cash for massages and then molesting them at his homes in Florida and New York. He was found dead in jail on Aug. 10, 2019, at age 66. A medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
A federal judge in Florida initially ruled that prosecutors violated the victims’ rights law and asked for recommendations from both sides on what to do about it. But after Epstein died the lawsuit was dismissed.
The Associated Press does not name sexual abuse victims without their permission. Wild has given numerous interviews and discussed her experiences with Epstein publicly at length.