The first step toward unsealing documents related to Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation was taken on Monday in a federal appeals court, according to the Miami Herald, opening the possibility that other well-known public figures from Epstein's orbit could be brought into the light.
The Herald reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “gave the parties until March 19 to establish good cause as to why they should remain sealed and, failing to do so, the summary judgment and supporting documents will be made public.”
Sanford Bohrer, an attorney for the Herald, responded to the three-judge panel’s decision saying, “We’re grateful that the court ruled the summary judgment papers are open and they are moving to expedite having them unsealed.”
The Herald filed a motion last year to have the case file opened in its entirety.
Settled in 2017, the case involves more than 1,000 documents, and just one party is currently fighting to keep the file sealed — Epstein’s former partner and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Maxwell is alleged to have assisted the politically-connected multimillionaire in acquiring underage girls for sex.
The lawsuit, filed by Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2015, names only Maxwell but “most of the documents, including court orders and motions, were filed under seal or heavily redacted, similar to other cases in New York and Florida involving Epstein,” the Herald reported.
Other parties interested in the unsealing of the case include former Epstein attorney Alan Dershowitz, with whom Giuffre claims she was forced by Epstein to have sex when she was underage.
Dershowitz has denied the allegation and argued that unsealing the court documents will prove his innocence; however, Giuffre’s attorney has said the court documents will show that his client is telling the truth.