(Reuters) – A federal judge in Florida said on Monday that a group of women who claimed that Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them are not entitled to money damages over a lenient 2008 plea agreement for the late financier.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra in West Palm Beach said the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act did not entitle the women to damages from the United States.
Marra also refused to rescind provisions of Epstein’s plea agreement that barred his prosecution and the prosecution of his alleged accomplices.
“As a result of Mr. Epstein’s death, there can be no criminal prosecution against him and the court cannot consider granting this relief to the victims,” Marra wrote.
Epstein committed suicide on Aug. 10 by hanging himself in his Manhattan jail cell. He had pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)