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Epstein grand jury documents could be released under new Florida law

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(The Center Square) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that will publicly release grand jury documents, including those related to the businessman Jeffery Epstein.

DeSantis signed House Bill 117 Thursday, which would disclose grand jury testimony while revising the list of persons prohibited from disclosing witness testimony and would create an exception for requests by media or interested persons.

“They say that justice delayed is justice denied, and I think in many respects this whole ordeal has proven that to be true,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said the investigation into Epstein was hindered because there was no access to the grand jury documents around the case.

“The Legislature and I agree that there needs to be a mechanism in some of these rare circumstances where people can get the truth and where we can try to pursue justice,” DeSantis said.

Jeffrey Epstein and his longtime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell were accused of flying underage girls by private jet to his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands for sexual exploitation.

Epstein faced criminal charges in Florida in 2006 but was able to get a more lenient plea deal that saved him from a long prison sentence. He was sentenced to 18 months but served more than a year in a Florida state prison.

In 2019, Epstein allegedly committed suicide while awaiting trial in New York after prosecutors concluded they were not bound to the terms of Epstein’s 2006 deal.

“We’re now sitting here decades later, and you’ve had Epstein, and then Maxwell is actually in prison in Florida, and yet nothing else has ever happened with any of this,” DeSantis said. “How is that possible given the magnitude of what was going on, and what was going on in Florida was only a fraction of what was happening.”

DeSantis noted that Epstein was engaged in these activities and abuse in New York City, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, and added Epstein had a massive operation targeting very young girls.

“To not have justice on this is something that has been a big black spot on our justice system…and why did that happen?” DeSantis said. “It happened because, you know, you had someone that was very rich, well connected, and was able to engineer an outcome that the average citizen would likely never be able to do.”

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