A federal judge has ordered that documents relating to paedophile deceased convict Jeffrey Epstein and his associates be unsealed.
In a decision issued Friday, Judge Loretta Prisca ordered the release of several documents filed in a defamation lawsuit against Epstein’s ex-worker and lover Ghislaine Maxwell amid objections that it would damage the reputations of the people named in the documents.
Preska determined that the public interest outweighs the privacy rights of the eight “John Does” named in the documents, referred to as Do 12, 28, 97, 107, 144, 147, 171 and 183.
One of the eight individuals is Tom Pritzker, billionaire CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, who has said releasing documents linking him to the controversial financier would cause reputational damage, according to Insider.
Jeffrey Epstein Cohort’s convict, Ghislaine Maxwell, is seen socializing in the prison yard
Prisca mostly disagreed with his concerns, saying that many of the documents were already available in other legal challenges and that their contents did not identify harmful acts.
Doe 107 also objected, saying that releasing documents linking them to Epstein was an invasion of their privacy.
Another person mentioned in the documents is Amy Tyler, former personal assistant to Ghislaine Maxwell who was also accused of contributing to the sexual abuse of her victims.
Tyler, part of another lawsuit, contested the release. She also denied any wrongdoing while working for Maxwell.
Much of the information in the patch of documents is publicly available from the other suit, Judge Prisca said, so she ordered her release.
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Judge Prisca ordered documents related to Doe 183 to be made available as well, because they were “the subject of intense media coverage,” but she intentionally delayed the release until November 28 so that the individual would have the option to appeal her decision.
“From the court’s perspective, there is no reason for Doe 183 redaction of the documents,” she said, according to Insider.
The judge also ordered that documents related to Doe 147, who was named to be Epstein victim Sarah Ransom, be unsealed.
Prisca confirmed that Ransom was a victim of sexual assault but said she had already testified publicly in another case. Ransom has also published a book detailing her experiences. Additionally, she wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post with some relevant details.
The judge said some of the other information in the documents was already made available at Maxwell’s trial last year, which led to her 20-year sentence.
However, the judge did keep some under seal, and approved some with “interest sufficient to keep the seal.”
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The judge said another person, named Doe 12 in the documents, remained sealed because he was not a contributor to the abuse or a victim of Epstein or Maxwell.
Judge Prisca ordered that documents relating to the Doe 28 remain sealed and the individual “is a victim of sexual assault and continues to experience trauma as a result of these events.”
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The media organizations have requested the release of the documents, which are from a 2016 defamation case against Maxwell by defendant Virginia Roberts Giuffre. The case was later settled.
Since the settlement, batches of documents have been released on a regular schedule, starting in 2019, days after Epstein’s death.