A federal judge has ordered the release of documents relating to deceased convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his associates.
In a decision Friday, Judge Loretta Preska ruled that several documents filed in a defamation case against Epstein’s former manager and lover, Ghislaine Maxwell, would be released amid objections that they would damage the reputations of the people named in the documents. .
Preska determined that the public interest outweighed the privacy rights of the eight “John Does” named in the documents, labeled Does 12, 28, 97, 107, 144, 147, 171 and 183.
One of the eight people is Tom Pritzker, a billionaire CEO of Hyatt Hotels, who said releasing documents connecting him to the controversial financier would cause reputational damage, according to Insider.
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Preska mostly disagreed with these concerns, saying that many of the documents were already available in other legal challenges and that their content did not specify malicious actions.
Doe 107 also objected, saying the release of documents connecting them to Epstein was a violation of their privacy.
Another person mentioned in the documents is Emmy Tayler, a former personal assistant to Ghislaine Maxwell, who was also accused of contributing to the sexual abuse of her victims.
Tayler, who is part of another lawsuit, opposed the release. He also denied any wrongdoing during the time he worked for Maxwell.
Judge Preska said that much of the information in the document patch is publicly available in the other lawsuit, so she ordered it released.
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Judge Preska ordered the documents relating to Doe 183 to be made available as well, as they were “the subject of intense media coverage,” but intentionally delayed release until November 28 so that the person would have the option to appeal her decision.
“From the court’s point of view, there is no reason to remove Doe 183 from the documents,” he said, according to Insider.
The judge also ordered documents relating to Doe 147, who was named as Epstein’s victim Sarah Ransome, unsealed.
Preska claimed that Ransome was a victim of sexual abuse, but said that he has already testified publicly in another case. Ransome also published a book that further details her experiences. Also, she wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post with some pertinent details.
The judge said other information in the documents was already available at Maxwell’s own trial last year, which resulted in his 20-year sentence.
The judge, however, kept some under seal, accepting some “interest sufficient to preserve the seal.”
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Another individual, named Doe 12 in the documents, remained sealed as he did not contribute to the abuse or victim Epstein or Maxwell, the judge said.
Judge Preska ordered that the documents relating to Doe 28 remain sealed and that the individual is a “sexual assault victim who continues to experience trauma as a result of these events.”
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Media organizations have requested the release of the documents, which are from a 2016 libel case against Maxwell by accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. The case was later resolved.
Since the settlement, the document collections have been released on a regular basis, first beginning in 2019, days after Epstein’s death.