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‘Horrifying’: James Patterson speaks out about Jeffrey Epstein case

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Wei
In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich during his arraignment in New York federal court, Monday, July 8, 2019.
(Elizabeth Williams / AP)

Thriller author James Patterson has spoken out about the recent arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, the financier charged with sex trafficking of minors and the subject of a 2016 book by Patterson.

“This story is about justice breaking down, the justice system breaking down and about how could we, since 2006, not pay attention to this story,” Patterson said on the CBSN show “Red & Blue” on Tuesday.

Epstein, a hedge fund manager with an array of powerful friends, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy.

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Epstein pleaded not guilty, and faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Patterson said his interest in Epstein was spurred by the financier’s previous indictment on a solicitation of prostitution charge in 2006. Two years later, in a then-secret plea deal offered by R. Alexander Acosta ⁠— a U.S. attorney at the time who is now the U.S. secretary of Labor ⁠— Epstein ended up serving 13 months in prison, during which he was allowed to work at his office during daytime hours.

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“What got me into this was a lot of people had been so hurt by the original situation in 2006, when he kind of got off for 13 months,” Patterson told CBSN. “When you see the pattern that goes from 2003 or so or maybe earlier ... that’s a long time to be obsessed with young girls.”

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In 2016, Patterson and co-authors John Connolly and Tim Malloy published a book about the case, “Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal That Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein.”

Patterson told Fox News host Dana Perino that “hundreds of people” had approached him and thanked him for writing the book.

“It’s horrifying. These are girls, allegedly hundreds of girls,” Patterson said, adding that he “would be surprised if Epstein didn’t spend a fair amount of time in jail.”

Patterson made similar comments to the New York Post, saying he thinks Epstein will “get his just deserts.”

“I hope and I suspect the evidence is really strong this time,” Patterson said. “I don’t think New York prosecutors will be intimidated. From everything I’m hearing, people don’t think he’s going to be able to get out of this.”

On Fox News, Patterson also addressed Epstein’s past friendships with President Trump and former President Clinton, saying he believed the two politicians didn’t know about Epstein’s interest in minor girls.

“Nobody knew. You can’t do something like that. ... I have friends in town right now. They live on the street. They didn’t know. They lived two houses away,” Patterson said.

As of Thursday morning, “Filthy Rich” was ranked No. 130 among all books on Amazon.

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