Famed educator and legal scholar Ken Starr led a forum last week at the National Press Club to inspire faith-based instruction -- and then was asked to describe why he had helped billionaire Jeffrey Epstein avoid serious prison time in 2008 on allegations Epstein had molested dozens of underage girls, including one at center in the photo above.
The president and chancellor of Baylor University, responding to a question after the close of a forum he led Feb. 4 on "The Calling of Faith-based Universities," told me he was "very happy" to help serve a client of his former law firm, Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis. Starr is a former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general.
Thus, as so often the case in public life in the nation's capital, a stark contrast arose between high-minded rhetoric and subservience to the wealthy.
Today's column examines how the globe-trotting Epstein, 62, obtained a sweetheart plea bargain in 2008 thanks to lawyers on a legal dream team that included Alan Dershowitz, Roy Black, Jay Lefkowitz, Gerald Lefcourt, and Martin Weinberg.
Starr played a key role in arranging lenient treatment for Epstein, whose federal-state prosecution a decade ago occurred concurrently under the administrations of President George W. Bush and his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush (1999-2007) and Jeb Bush's successor Charlie Crist(2007-2011), who had been state attorney general during the beginning of the Epstein case.
The Daily Mail of London reported new developments Jan. 2 in Andrew and the under-age 'sex slave': Duke denies claim in court papers that teen was picked to sleep with him by Robert Maxwell's daughter.
According to recent court filings in Florida's federal court:
A plaintiff "Jane Doe 3," later identified as a California native Virginia Roberts, accused Epstein as treating her as a "sex slave" beginning when she was 15 as part of a massive sex trafficking operation he ran exploiting girls in their mid-teens, below the legal age of consent.
Roberts, now 31, claimed that Epstein farmed her out to other men, including Prince Andrew of the British royal family, Epstein's attorney Dershowitz, and French modeling scout Jean Luc Brunel.
The California native said the photo portrays her at center with Prince Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, on a trip to London when she was 17 in 2001. At right was Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite daughter of the corrupt newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, who drowned in 1991 after toppling overboard from his yacht Lady Ghislaine.
Roberts alleged that the Ghislaine Maxwell was girlfriend of the never-married Epstein's who helped him both maintain contacts to top levels of society, recruited teenage sex consorts, and sometimes participated in the sex abuse, including of Roberts. The Roberts claims are part of her effort along with a Jane Doe 4 to join a suit filed six years ago by Jane Doe 1 and 2 against the federal government for violation of civil rights in agreeing to an overly lenient state plea deal for Epstein in 2008.
Maxwell, Epstein, Andrew, and Dershowitz are among those who have denied the allegations, as have federal authorities defending the suit against them.
Epstein, in his first formal remarks on the revived scandal, last month condemned the "media frenzy" surrounding the case. He wrote that he and his associates "have been the subject of the most outlandish and offensive attacks, allegations, and plain inventions."
The prince issued a strongly-worded denial via Buckingham Palace, saying "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue."
As a big picture, Epstein's money-making talents were remarkable along with his documented perversions in soliciting underage girls.