(NEW YORK) — A number of accusers of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein expressed anger Saturday following his apparent suicide, saying that justice was not served and the disgraced financier — in the words of one — “will never face the consequences.”
“I am extremely mad and hurt thinking he once again thought he was above us and took the easy way out,” said Jena-Lisa Jones, 30, who has alleged that Epstein abused her in Florida when she was 14.
Jones said Epstein’s death showed his cowardice.
Epstein, 66, was set to stand trial next year on charges of sex trafficking dozens of girls at his homes in New York and Florida.
Jennifer Araoz, 32, who claimed that Epstein raped her when she was 15, called on authorities to “pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers.”
“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” Araoz said.
His death came a day after a federal appellate court in New York unsealed around 2,000 pages of documents from a now-settled civil defamation case between Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged Epstein victim, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime Epstein associate who Giuffre says recruited her and brought her to Epstein’s home for a massage.
Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Giuffre, said the timing of Epstein’s apparent suicide was “no coincidence.”
“We are hopeful that the government will continue to investigate and will focus on those who participated and facilitated Epstein’s horrifying sex trafficking scheme that damaged so many,” McCawley said in a statement. “The victims await the true justice they have sought and deserve.”
Law enforcement sources told ABC News the criminal case against Epstein will not end with his death. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan will continue to evaluate the evidence and hear from his accusers, the sources said.
Brad Edwards, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who represents several accusers, urged any additional accusers to still come forward with allegations.
“The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused,” Edwards said. “We will continue to represent his victims and will not stop in their pursuit of finality and justice.”
Among the alleged victims Edwards represents is Courtney Wild, who came face-to-face with the disgraced millionaire when she attended Epstein’s detention hearing in July, and told the judge she was 14 years old when Epstein allegedly sexually abused her in his home in Palm Beach.
“We get to look him in the face today and see him in handcuffs,” Wild said at the time. “Finally, that day has come.”
Michelle Licata, who attended Epstein’s arraignment last month along with Wild, alleges that, at 16, she was tricked into going to Epstein’s home on the promise of making some extra money as a massage therapist and was instead abused.
Licata said she learned of Epstein’s death as she was preparing breakfast on Saturday morning, and was immediately grateful for the sense of closure she got from seeing him in court.
“I just wanted him to be held accountable for his actions,” Licata said. “Simple as that.”
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Kristin Shae Pisarcik contributed to this report.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.