Teresa Helm of Oakwood is one of five women that has sued Jeffrey Epstein’s estate in US District Court, accusing him of rape, battery and false imprisonment and seeking unspecified damages in the civil suit.
Recent action regarding the lawsuit indicates legal wrangling in the Virgin Islands has raised issues regarding a voluntary settlement plan for Epstein’s alleged victims.
Prosecutors said Epstein sexually exploited and abused dozens of women and girls as young as 14 at his homes in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005.
According to court papers documenting the recent lawsuit, Helm, now 40, was 22 when she was hired as a traveling masseuse by Epstein.
Attorney Sigrid McCawley, a partner with the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, which is representing Helm, released information updating the case to the Dayton Daily News.
Court documents show Epstein filed his will in the US Virgin Islands, where several women claimed he sexually abused them, so the US Virgin Islands Court will need to approve any type of voluntary claims resolution program in lieu of further litigation.
A hearing was held earlier this month in the case in front of Judge Debra C. Freeman, and one of the lawyer’s representing Epstein’s case, Bennet Moskowitz, stated that the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, Attorney General Denise George, is holding up the execution of the claims program.
“The vast majority of alleged victims of Mr. Epstein have, through their counsel, voiced unequivocal support for and intend to participate in the voluntary program, which is great,” Moskowitz stated to the court.
He added, “There is one reason, and only one reason, that the claims program hasn’t commenced, and that is because the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, who we firmly understand represents no victims - zero - has, for whatever reason that we don’t understand, impeded the formal establishment of the program.”
McCawley and other lawyers representing the victims feel that the fund lacks proper oversight and credibility, especially since Epstein filed his will in the Virgin Islands just two days before he died.
“It’s really important to these victims to seek justice in this circumstance,” McCawley told the court. “They want to move their cases forward. Of course they’re interested in the claims program, if that comes to fruition. But at this point there’s a lot that needs to go on before that can happen.”
Judge Freeman said the court has no jurisdiction over the Virgin Islands and what the probate court there or AG George decides to do, but the lawsuit for Helm and the other women will move forward.
In August of 2019, the 66-year-old financier hanged himself in his cell at a federal jail as he awaited trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. His death signaled the dismissal of charges in the case, but left open the question of whether or not Epstein’s wealthy estate, valued at $577 million, will have to compensate his alleged victims.
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