A lawsuit filed by prosecutors in the Virgin Islands says multimillionaire sex offender Jeffery Epstein used two private islands in the US territory to engage in a nearly two-decade conspiracy to traffic and abuse girls.
At one point, the suit filed on Wednesday alleges, Epstein and associates organised a search party to catch a 15-year-old victim trying to swim away, and kept her passport to keep her captive.
The lawsuit seeks to confiscate hundreds of millions of dollars from Epstein’s estate in the Virgin Islands, including private islands Little St James and Great St James, which the suit values at $US86 million ($A125 million).
“The complaint speaks for itself and lays out allegations of a pattern and practice of human trafficking, sexual abuse and forced labour of young women and female children as young as 13 years old,” Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George told reporters on Wednesday.
The lawsuit alleges that even after Epstein’s August suicide in federal detention in New York, his associates “continued to conspire to prevent detection of the Epstein Enterprise’s criminal wrongdoing and to prevent accountability”.
“These conspiratorial acts are ongoing,” the lawsuit says.
Although he was required to register as a sex offender in the Virgin Islands after pleading guilty in a Florida case, Epstein successfully turned away Virgin Islands officials and US Marshals from Little St James, saying its dock was his front door.
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