Jeffrey Epstein was called a coward and a villain in a federal courtroom in Manhattan on Tuesday, as 16 women who said they were sexually abused by Epstein were given the chance to publicly share their fury; statements from more than a dozen others were read aloud. US District Judge Richard Berman said the women given the opportunity to speak at the hearing—in which prosecutors were expected dismiss the charges against Epstein—"because of their relevant experiences." Some of what was said (the names of women who chose to identify themselves have been included):
- Courtney Wild said Epstein abused her in Palm Beach, Florida, when she was 14, and that the abuse went on for years, per the AP and CNBC. She called him a "coward" whose suicide "robbed myself and all the other victims of our day in court to confront him one by one." She added, per the New York Times, "I feel very angry and sad. Justice has never been served in this case."
- Others pleaded that the case not die along with Epstein, who was found dead of an apparent suicide on Aug. 10. "Please, please finish what you have started ... we all know he did not act alone," said Sarah Ransome. One woman specifically referenced being recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell, who along with Epstein "made me seem as though I was part of a family, something I desperately needed." She says she threw up for days after being raped by Epstein.