Recent reports that Florida prosecutors mishandled Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex abuse case, illegally withholding information about his plea deal from his victims, brings back into the limelight how President Donald Trump appears to have been unusually friendly over the years with people accused of crimes against children.
Trump’s current labor secretary, Alex Acosta, oversaw Epstein's case as a Florida US attorney in 2008, but this is far from the president’s only connection to such manner of accused or convicted criminal.
Alongside Epstein, lesser known Trump associates who fit the bill include Tevfik Arif, George Nader, and John Casablancas.
In 2010, Arif — a Kazakh national and founder of the New York-based international real estate development and investment company Bayrock Group — was arrested for “role in pimping out Eastern European models for decadent sex parties aboard a Turkish yacht,” numerous news outlets reported.
The Daily Beast said police raided the “Savarona, a 450-foot luxury yacht moored off the coast of the city Antalya” after a seven-month investigation into an alleged international prostitution ring.
On board, authorities found “nine Russian and Ukranian models” and “the wealthy businessmen who allegedly shelled out $3,000 to $10,000 for the trysts.”
Arif, who steadfastly denied the charges, was later tried and acquitted.
The Daily Beast noted that Trump refused to comment on his business partner’s arrest at the time.
George Nader, whom Bloomberg News described as a “Lebanese-American businessman, globe-trotting "fixer," convicted child molester,” circles close enough to Trump to be caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Nader also has a 15-year-old pedophilia conviction in Europe after being charged with "moral corruption of minors, sexual abuse and impairing morals” for abusing underage boys between 1992 and 2002.
Prior to that conviction, which reportedly saw Nader serve time in a Prague prison, the Trump associate was accused in Washington, D.C., of crimes relating to child pornography in 1985; however, those charges were later dropped.
Nader was on his way to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last year when he was picked up by Mueller’s investigators, reportedly interested in his “role in two high-level get-togethers after the presidential election.”
Then there is John Casablancas, founder of the modeling agency Elite and longtime friend of Donald Trump.
Casablancas, who died in 2013, allegedly had an affair with an underage model and “established a culture of compliance with sexually predatory behavior,” according to Marie Anderson Boyd, an agent and vice president at Elite’s Chicago office between 1985 and 1990.
Anderson Boyd told HuffPost last year that models regularly told her about sexual misconduct within the business.
She also recounted witnessing two female executives at the company implore Casablancas and another executive, Gerald Marie, to stop sleeping with underage girls.
Anderson Boyd told New York Magazine in 2000 that Marie simply responded, “We are men. We have our needs.”
Another modeling agent with Elite, Carolyn Kramer, said, “There was a below-the-radar understanding that the [executives] of Elite [Casablancas and Marie] were sleeping with young women.”
Casablancas, who founded his company in 1972, had a been a friend of Trump’s for years.
The New York Times reported in 1997, in a piece on Ivanka Trump’s emergence on the modeling scene, that Elite held events at Trump Tower in Manhattan. The agency is also where Ivanka got her start in the business, beginning her modeling career at age 15.
The Times wrote: “It seems that Monical Pillard, the president of Elite, had been eyeing Ivanka since she spotted her on her father’s lap four years ago, when Mr. Trump was a judge of a new-talent contest for the agency.”
Pillard also served as a judge in the Miss Universe Pageant, which was jointly owned by Donald Trump and CBS.
And of course, there is Epstein — the multimillionaire hedge fund manager and pedophile who abused dozens of underage girls himself and procured girls for others to abuse as well.
The Miami Herald, in its extensive investigative reporting on Epstein’s case, noted that Trump is among the sex offender’s friends and associates, writing that Trump “is Epstein’s neighbor in Palm Beach and former friend who also flew on Epstein’s plane.”
Though there is no evidence suggesting that Trump engaged in the abuse of minors alongside Epstein, he has said in the past that Epstein had an affinity for younger women.
"I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,'' Trump told New York Magazine in 2002. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it -- Jeffrey enjoys his social life."