Epstein Victims Seek Access to Sealed Documents in Legal Battle Against USVI Government

Plaintiffs aim to uncover evidence hidden in JPMorgan lawsuit settlements

  • Janeka Simon
  • April 05, 2024

Jeffery Epstein

The women suing the Government of the Virgin Islands over its alleged culpability in facilitating Jeffery Epstein’s sex trafficking crimes want to be granted complete access to documents filed in the lawsuit between the government and JPMorgan Chase, which was settled last year.

The six victims of Epstein say those sealed records are needed to help prove their case against the government and several former officials. 

Attorney Jordan Merson, representing the six women, said in his motion to intervene in the closed JPMorgan matter that the plaintiffs in the suit against the government were “seeking essentially a de facto consolidation of their case” with the JPMorgan lawsuit, which would mean that they would be entitled to access all the discovery material generated in that matter. “The USVI is in possession of all the filings in this case and so can hardly oppose an order which places Proposed Intervenors on the same footing as them,” Mr. Merson wrote in his memorandum supporting the motion. 

The lawsuits by various “Jane Doe” plaintiffs against Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan, which were later consolidated, were covered by a Protective Order which shielded “the vast majority of discovery from public disclosure,” Mr. Merson said, claiming that the lack of information in the public domain means that his clients “are now hamstrung by their ability to prosecute their claims” against the government. 

The attorney says that disadvantage is now being unfairly exploited by the USVI and other defendants in the civil suit, including former governors Kenneth Mapp and John De Jongh, former First Lady Cecile De Jongh, former Attorney General Vincent Frazer, former senators Celestino White and Carlton Dowe, and incumbent Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett. “The USVI, which benefited from the Protective Order in this action, is using it as both a sword and a shield,” Mr. Merson writes. “When it served the USVI’s interest to consent to confidentiality, it did so in order to prosecute claims, ostensibly on behalf of the victims of the sex trafficking venture. In the Jane Doe action, the USVI is now using it as a shield, by moving to dismiss on grounds including a failure to plead with specificity.”

That stance was “the height of hypocrisy,” according to the attorney, who maintained that the right of the Doe plaintiffs to anonymity would not be impacted by the granting of access to the sealed records. Nor would confidentiality of sensitive information be compromised, as access would be narrowly granted – reserved to only the parties and counsel in the suit against the government. 

“Plaintiffs have a unique and urgent need to review these documents. They are entitled to access,” Mr. Merson told the court. 

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