Ex-police chief slams Florida feds after Ghislaine Maxwell conviction

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Ex-police chief slams Florida feds after Ghislaine Maxwell conviction

The former Palm Beach police chief who investigated Jeffrey Epstein blasted Florida prosecutors for their “failure” in bringing justice more than a decade ago — in light of Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction.

The ex-top cop Michael Reiter took the feds in the Sunshine State to task for their handling of the Epstein case as he hailed their New York counterparts for securing a conviction against Maxwell for sex trafficking on Wednesday.

“The US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York should be congratulated for having the courage to bring Epstein and now Ghislaine Maxwell to justice, something that should have been done in the Florida case fifteen years ago,” the retired lawman said in a statement to the Daily Beast.

Reiter said the ball was dropped by prosecutors in the 2005 investigation into Epstein, despite his agency recognizing the “importance of stopping Jeffrey Epstein and bringing him to justice.”

U.S. marshalls escort Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell from the courtroom after she was found guilty in her sex abuse trial  on December 29, 2021.
U.S. marshalls escort Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell from the courtroom after she was found guilty in her sex abuse trial on December 29, 2021.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
Michael Reiter said the ball was dropped by prosecutors in the 2005 investigation into Epstein, despite his agency recognizing the "importance of stopping Jeffrey Epstein."
Michael Reiter said the ball was dropped by prosecutors in the 2005 investigation into Epstein, despite his agency recognizing the “importance of stopping Jeffrey Epstein.”
New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File

“The Department never bent to the power and influence brought to bear against us. Unfortunately, of the many agencies involved, only the FBI acted in a similar way,” he said.

Reiter’s department launched a probe after receiving a call from a mother who claimed that her underage daughter was having sex with the disgraced financier.

Police soon uncovered that Epstein was a serial sexual predator with a vast network around him that supported his criminal enterprise.

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell (right) and US financier Jeffrey Epstein (right) aboard Epstein's private plane.
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein sit aboard Epstein’s private plane.
US District Court for the Southe

But after months of investigation, federal prosecutors brokered a non-prosecutorial agreement with Epstein that spared him the prospect of serving several years behind bars and allowed him to dodge federal sex-crime charges.

Instead, he pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution and served 13 months at Palm Beach County jail, where he had generous work release arrangements.

Epstein was later charged by federal prosecutors in New York for nearly identical allegations in 2019, but he committed suicide while in federal custody as he awaited trial.

Ghislaine Maxwell (right) was found guilty on six charges of grooming underage women for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell was found guilty on six charges of grooming underage women for Epstein.
Getty Images

Reiter said that the “importance of the failure of the Florida case cannot be overstated.”

“Now that the courts have spoken, I hope and pray that the professionals in our justice system learn from the case,” he said. “Law school professors should teach this case in legal ethics courses as examples of how not to treat victims of sex crimes and as a forewarning to prosecutors on how they can be influenced to fail in their duties to both victims and the public.”

Maxwell was found guilty in Manhattan Wednesday evening of five of six counts against her, including the top charge, sex trafficking. She faces up to 65 years behind bars.

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