-The Epstein Model addresses patterns and complicity in child sexual abuse
Please be forewarned that content might include
details of abuse and potentially triggering language.
I initially title this blog “Currents” partly to symbolize under-the-surface pain and trauma, kind of a rip-current emotional undertow, in the life of the typical child sexual abuse victim. However, in this post I’d like to address something that’s “current” in national news.
If you’ve turned on the television recently, you’ve heard about the arrest, incarceration, and suicide of multi-millionaire (half-billionaire) Jeffery Epstein. Epstein, found guilty of similar crimes a decade ago, had evaded consequences when federal charges were dropped in return for an unprecedentedly light sentence in the state of Florida. That sentence, 13-months of evening and weekend jailtime, was negotiated by none other than U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who has since resigned. Without the #metoo and similar movements raising public awareness of the issue of sexual violence — especially against children – who knows if Epstein would have been arrested, or Acosta confronted with his role in past wrongs.
I just started reading an excellent 2018 Miami Herald series—an exhaustive investigation into the background of Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes against adolescent girls in Florida. The introductory article describes Epstein’s penchant for a certain age child and how Epstein went about manufacturing a supply chain to feed his deviant desires. In the film Spotlight, a dramatization of the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting into cover-ups surrounding pedophile priests, the victim-advocate attorney is quoted as saying, “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.” Involvement of various influential people and arms of government in aiding concealment of Epstein’s crimes is uncannily similar to that of the cover-up of sex crimes against children in the Catholic Church.
Epstein’s model victim proved to be a pre-pubescent thirteen to fourteen-year-old girl, preferably white. His simple strategy was to find a young girl willing to come to his mansion to “give him a massage” in return for hundreds of dollars of cash. The Herald reports that Epstein employed a multi-level-marketing-type strategy to grow the pool of victims by enticing the girl first chosen with the promise of earning more money for every new girl she brought to him.
I am only on part one of the multi-part series—and am skimming, dipping my toes before diving into a sea of potential triggers. My heart goes out to each and every one of the girls whose lives he destroyed. Yet I hope that now that the scheme has been exposed, society can wake up, not only finally seeing a pattern in the way pedophilia perpetrators operate to gain a supply of victims, but also the requisite complicity of so many to keep it hidden.
Epstein’s supply chain produced a pool of paper-doll girls suiting his prerequisites. For my own reality check, I asked my own (expert on child sexual abuse) therapist a rhetorical question, “Are any of them like omnivores, with no preference, or do all pedophiles have ‘a type’?” Her answer confirmed what I experienced and KNOW to be true: pedophiles have specific victim prototypes, unless, she said, (paraphrasing) “They are sexaholics, who’d have sex with anyone or anything.”
Consider Michael Jackson, and his preferred age-range, gender, and look of the boys he abused. (reference HBO Leaving Neverland.) Watch the excellent PBS Frontline special, “Predator on the Reservation,” a documentary detailing the abuses of a middle-aged, male, white pediatrician who had a thing for young, skinny Indian teen boys. Consider Larry Nassar, Jerry Sandusky, etc., etc., etc.
All of the foregoing leads to the following food for thought. What do you think a pedophile who “prefers” children under the age of five would do to generate a source and a cache of abusable preschoolers? How about men whose desire is to sexually abuse children under the age of two? How do these pedophiles garner a pipeline of abusable babies? Who is in the network, the web? And who is paid to look the other way? As I have been taught, it only takes ONE incident of molestation, at any age, to negatively influence a child. Please understand that I am not in any way minimizing the trauma of the Epstein victims. However, there are victims of other rich, powerful people–victims who were so young at the time of abuse that they do not have the same latitude to articulate what happened as the older victims do. It doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. I am working on a memoir that details my experience as a victim in that arena, and, going forward will post some excerpts and articles on the topic.