Prosecutors are looking into the network of women they believe Jeffrey Epstein used to recruit underage girls for sex-trafficking

Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photo taken for the NY Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry

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Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photo taken for the NY Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry
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Reuters

  • According to a new report from The New York Times, prosecutors are looking into the network of women they believe Jeffrey Epstein used to recruit underage girls for sex-trafficking.
  • In July, the convicted sex offender was charged with sex trafficking and accused of molesting dozens of underage girls. He had pleaded not guilty and died by suicide in jail on August 10.
  • According to The Times, prosecutors are now investigating how four women – Sarah Kellen, Lesley Groff, Adriana Ross, and Nadia Marcinkova – played a role in recruiting his alleged sex-trafficking ring.
  • British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, his alleged former “madam,” is also being investigated, The Times reported.
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According to a new report from The New York Times, prosecutors are looking into a network of women they believe Jeffrey Epstein used to recruit underage girls for sex trafficking.

In July, the convicted sex offender was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy, accused of molesting dozens of underage girls. He had pleaded not guilty after being arrested.

On August 10, Epstein died by suicide while awaiting trial in jail. On Thursday, the case against Epstein was formally dismissed after his death.

So while the Epstein case is over, prosecutors aren’t done looking into his alleged sex-trafficking ring.

In addition to Ghislaine Maxwell, federal prosecutors in New York are looking into four other women, two people with knowledge of the investigation told The Times: Sarah Kellen, Lesley Groff, Adriana Ross, and Nadia Marcinkova.

The four women were named as “co-conspirators” in the case Epstein faced a decade ago in Florida. Epstein signed a non-prosecution agreement and as a part of it, charges against the co-conspirators were never pursued.

Ghislaine Maxwell at Spring Studios in New York City on October 18, 2019.

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Ghislaine Maxwell at Spring Studios in New York City on October 18, 2019.
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Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Read more: A shocking 38% of sex trafficking suspects are women – and many are former victims

Each of the ‘co-conspirators’ reportedly served a different role in the alleged ring

Epstein’s victims have accused Maxwell of being at the center of the alleged sex-trafficking ring. In a deposition from Epstein’s butler, Alfredo Rodriguez, reviewed by The Times, she was referred to as “the boss.”

Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing. Her attorneys didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

And if Maxwell was in charge, then Kellen was second in command, according to The Times. Kellen, who also goes by Sarah Kensington or Sarah Vickers, has reportedly been accused of training and scheduling girls to give Epstein massages.

“She saw herself as the boss,” Spencer T. Kuvin, a West Palm Beach lawyer who represented several accusers in lawsuits, told The Times. “Sarah was really running that organization, bringing girls and getting them in and out of the Palm Beach home.”

Groff and Ross were two of Epstein’s former assistants. In 2005, Ross removed three computers from Epstein’s home when the Palm Beach police were investigating him with the belief that his computers contained child pornography, according to a deposition The Times reviewed.

Epstein and Maxwell.

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Epstein and Maxwell.
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Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The paper reported that Groff worked as Epstein’s executive for 20 years, during which she answered phones, managed his schedule, and, according to a lawsuit Sarah Ransome filed against several of Epstein’s associates in 2017, she also booked travel and lodging for those who gave Epstein massages.

Ransome also alleges that when she was told to lose 11 pounds in 2007, she and Groff corresponded about her weight loss over email. “Please, could you also let him know that I am now 57 kg and that everything is going well,” Ransome wrote in an email exchange reviewed by The Times.

Groff’s attorney told The Times in a statement: “At no time during Lesley’s employment with Epstein did she ever engage in any misconduct and never knowingly made travel arrangements for anyone under 18.”

Police first investigated Marcinkova in 2005 when a then-16-year-old told authorities that she had repeated coercive sexual encounters with Marcinkova and Epstein, according to The Times.

Lawyers for Marcinkova, who also goes by the last name Marcinko, provided a statement to The Times.

“Like other victims, Nadia Marcinko is and has been severely traumatized,” the statement said, adding that she “needs time to process and make sense of what she has been through before she is able to speak out.”

Read the full story from The Times »

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit hotline.rainn.org/online and receive confidential support.