Unsealed: Jeffrey Epstein’s grand jury records now viewable online

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The records have long been sealed due to state limitations on exposing grand jury evidence. Lawmakers passed narrowly tailored legislation in February to circumvent those restrictions.

More than 150 transcript pages of previously sealed grand jury testimony about serial sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein are now available online, thanks to legislation passed early this year and the promptness of County Clerk Joe Abruzzo.

Abruzzo’s office posted the transcripts from a 2008 state investigation and case against Epstein, who secured a “sweetheart deal” that saw him serve just 13 months in jail.

The transcripts have long been shielded from public perusal due to state limitations on exposing grand jury evidence. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation in February that created a narrow exemption to those limits to unseal Epstein’s records on July 1.

The transcripts can be viewed here and at the bottom of this report.

Part of the newly released transcripts includes testimony by an unidentified 16-year-old girl who was 14 when she first interacted with Epstein. She said she was told to say she was 18.

In her testimony, the witness said she was initially paid $200 to give Epstein a massage while in her underwear. As the massage proceeded, he ordered her to get on the table on top of him so that their bare buttocks touched and later offered to give her an extra $100 to let him use a vibrator on her while he masturbated. She said she complied.

After leaving, the girl said she spoke with another girl who also massaged Epstein and claimed to have had a similar experience.

The testimony from the newly released transcript lines up with evidence previously posted online by Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s Office, viewable here.

In one video, a young woman described how she and other girls were hired in high school to provide massages to Epstein. She said she was 17 the first time, when she didn’t see him naked. In subsequent visits, she said he undressed fully and asked her to do the same.

“It was kind of weird,” she said, adding that Epstein masturbated during the massage.

In another video, an unidentified 20-year-old tells a detective that a friend of hers recruited her to massage Epstein at his home and it was “a weird situation.”

She says she provided the massage in her underwear, a requirement she said she was “absolutely surprised” to find out about upon arriving for the job. She also describes how in the final 10 minutes of the massage, Epstein removed his towel, began masturbating, removed her underwear and used a vibrator on her without her consent before he ejaculated.

Others described performing the same service to similar conclusions. All said they received $200 per massage and saw numerous other young women and girls at the house.

The town of Palm Beach’s Police Department began investigating Epstein in 2005 after receiving a complaint from the mother of a 14-year-old girl. The following year, law enforcement asked ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer to charge Epstein with four felonies, including unlawful sexual activity with a minor and lewd and lascivious molestation.

Rather than trying the case himself, Krischer referred the case to a grand jury, which determined there was only sufficient evidence to charge Epstein with procuring a child for prostitution and soliciting a prostitute. Epstein pleaded guilty to the charges in 2008.

Just one of nearly two dozen women and young girls who said they were abused at Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach testified before the grand jury. Oddly, Assistant State Attorney Lanna Belohlavek undermined that witness, quizzing the 16-year-old girl about “suggestive” posts she made on her Myspace page that Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, shared with Krischer’s Office.

Alex Acosta, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, eventually took over the case. But he declined to pursue federal charges. Former President Donald Trump, who employed Dershowitz as a lawyer, later appointed Acosta as U.S. Labor Secretary. Acosta resigned amid renewed scrutiny over the case in 2019, when Epstein was again arrested and indicted for sexual misconduct with dozens of underage girls.

New reporting on Epstein’s case in 2018 helped lead authorities to reopen it.

Epstein died of an apparent suicide in his jail cell while awaiting trial. His accomplice and sometimes girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite, was later charged and convicted of sex trafficking in 2020.

Lawmakers in February unanimously approved legislation (HB 117) to ease the release of records from the 2008 case. Boca Raton Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky and Highland Beach Republican Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman sponsored the measure, which came at the urging of Abruzzo.

“I am pleased that the truth is now out, as difficult as it is to read,” Polksly told Florida Politics by text. “It was a tough fight to get this transparency but the right one for the victims and community.”

Gossett-Seidman said she expects two things from the unsealed records. First, that the exposure will provide relief to the “200 or more victims who suffered as teens,” two of whom died by suicide in recent years. Secondly, she said, the revelations should help to prevent another such miscarriage of justice.

“The public has a right to know, and finally they will know the heinous behavior that occurred here in Palm Beach County,” she said.

“Law school professors throughout the country have lectured on this case as an example of … abuse of our system. Referring a criminal trial to a grand jury never occurred in any of the other 49 states. Any remaining persons involved, who can be prosecuted, should be brought to justice (so that) finally the last chapter of this horror story may be told.”

In late February, the Palm Beach Post sued Aronberg’s Office and former Clerk Sharon Bock to expedite the release of the records before HB 117’s effective date of July 1. Circuit Judge Luis Delgado ruled the suit legally insufficient.

In a statement posted online, Abruzzo thanked his legal team, Polsky and Gossett-Seidman for their work to unseal the records.

“When I became Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, I promised that I would leave no stone unturned to ensure the release of the Jeffrey Epstein grand jury records,” he said. “It is our hope that the release of these records gives peace of mind to our community and gives Jeffrey Epstein’s victims the closure they deserve.”

Aronberg told Florida Politics that he had not yet read the transcripts and therefore couldn’t speak to their contents. He noted that the 2008 case predated his leadership of the State Attorney’s Office by five years.

“Our office wants transparency, which is why we have supported the release of the Epstein Grand Jury records,” he said. “Today is my first time seeing these documents, as the State Attorney’s Office never possessed or had access to them.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Michael K

    July 1, 2024 at 4:40 pm

    This will certainly help lower my homeowners’ insurance, replace the $32 million yanked from cultural organizations, and stop gun violence as the leading cause of death among children.

    Is anyone else beginning to notice how our governor is obsessed with sex?

    • JustBabs

      July 2, 2024 at 10:35 am

      Agree. The guy is dead and Florida had already let him prey on girls for another 20 years, after they discovered he had preyed on 100’s of children, in Florida. Unless there’s a list of Florida officials, who enabled his crimes to continue, and we can now indict them, who cares. DeSantis is a waste of resources, and oxygen, in Florida.

      • Eileen Martinez Carey

        July 2, 2024 at 3:49 pm

        INDEED You are spot on.

    • Eileen Martinez Carey

      July 2, 2024 at 3:51 pm

      INDEED You are spot on.

  • SuzyQ

    July 2, 2024 at 12:57 am

    Governor Ron DeSantis is not only America’s Governor but is the most principled conservative leader in a generation and the most effective Florida governor ever. This enacted legislation, signed into law by America’s Governor, passed the Florida Legislature on a bipartisan basis. We Floridians re-elected America’s Governor to a 2nd term in the greatest landslide in the history of modern Florida politics.

    • Eileen Martinez Carey

      July 2, 2024 at 3:50 pm


    • Frank Antonucci

      July 9, 2024 at 8:44 pm

      Suzy,…thank you for your common sense & honest comments about DeSantis. Look at how he has lived from his college years to today. I get worked up when I read what others post which all sound the same & void of facts.

Comments are closed.


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