Ariel Castro’s lawyer says suicide not ‘happy ending’ as victims remain silent, A Big Win for Child Crime Victims

September 6, 2013 Comments Off on Ariel Castro’s lawyer says suicide not ‘happy ending’ as victims remain silent, A Big Win for Child Crime Victims

Ariel Castro’s lawyer says suicide not ‘happy ending’ as victims remain silent By Lateef Mungin, CNN Thu September 5, 2013

(CNN) — The reactions to Ariel Castro’s death have ranged from tears to calling him a coward to demands for an investigation. But the three women who suffered in his control for about decade remained silent.

While there were strong opinions about Castro from many, a spokeswoman said Wednesday the three women would not make a statement.

Maria Castro-Montes, Castro’s cousin, said she cried when she heard the news and immediately thought of the victims. Would they be glad or angry about Castro’s death?

“I just hope these victims can move past this now. I know they wanted him to live out a life sentence, but really, was he suffering behind bars?” She said. “I mean, getting meals, sleeping in a nice, warm, soft bed. You know, those girls didn’t even have that luxury when they were being held captive in his home. They were being raped. They were being tortured. They were being beaten.”

A Big Win for Child Crime Victims
By James R. Marsh on September 2, 2013

In a groundbreaking decision, a Florida federal court recently handed crime victims a significant victory, ruling for the first time that victims are entitled to confer with an assistant United States attorney before the Government enters a pre-charging, non-prosecution agreement with a defendant. Jane Doe v. United States, 08-cv-80736-KAM (S.D. Fla.). The case involved billionaire hedge fund operator Jeffrey Epstein, who induced minors to prostitute themselves, and then was granted what appears to be a special, sweetheart deal by the Feds without any victim notification or input, much less approval….

A. Facts

Jane Doe (a pseudonym used to protect her identity) is a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire hedge fund operator, who induced her and other minors to prostitute themselves. The FBI investigated Epstein and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida accepted it for prosecution.

In the summer of 2007, the government sent standard victim notification letters to Jane Doe and other victims. Shortly thereafter, it entered into a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein, but “without first conferring with [his victims] and without alerting [them] to the existence of the agreement either before or promptly after the fact.” Id. *1.

It was a sweetheart deal smacking of special privilege for a wealthy and well-connected political donor.

Epstein agreed to plead guilty to two state court charges—solicitation of prostitution and solicitation of minors to engage in prostitution—and received an 18 month sentence (of which he served only 13). Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, a defendant convicted of promoting commercial sex with a minor under these circumstances would be sentenced to significantly more time, at least two and probably three or four times what Epstein received in Florida state court. The non-prosecution agreement also contained a special provision in which the federal prosecutor and Epstein expressed their “anticipat[ion]” that the “agreement will not be made part of any public record.” Id….

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