It was a sweetheart deal that has baffled the world — how, in 2008, Jeffrey Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser felony prostitution charge, register as a sex offender and serve just 13 months in a county jail where he could come and go during the day, despite several underage victims testifying he raped them.
It’s now been revealed that one of Epstein’s defense attorneys previously dated one of the top prosecutors on the deal.
Lilly Ann Sanchez “was a member of Epstein’s defense team in 2008 when he was facing a potential federal indictment and life imprisonment for sexually abusing dozens of girls between 1999 and 2007,” according to the Daily Mail.
Sanchez had also dated Matthew Menchel, one of the prosecutors who worked on the plea deal.
The romance came to light after the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) issued a report this week slamming the Florida prosecutors for “poor judgement” in the pedo-perv’s deal.
Sanchez and Manchel dated in 2003 when they were both employed at the Southern District of Florida’s US Attorney’s Office. They later broke up but never disclosed the relationship while both worked on the Epstein deal.
The report says Menchel had left the office before the Epstein case was resolved.
Menchel told Justice Department investigators during the probe that his relationship with Sanchez had no impact on his handling of the case.
“Letting a well-connected billionaire get away with child rape and international sex trafficking isn’t ‘poor judgment — it is a disgusting failure,” Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a statement released on Thursday. “Americans ought to be enraged … Epstein should be rotting behind bars today, but the Justice Department failed Epstein’s victims at every turn.”
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan last August while awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges.
Epstein’s right hand woman, Ghislaine Maxwell, is currently in jail until her sex trafficking trial next summer.