Herald journalists, legal experts to discuss Epstein investigation, child sex trafficking

Following the Jeffrey Epstein case that made international headlines, the Miami Herald will hold a public panel discussion on preventing child sex trafficking in South Florida.

The Herald’s Perversion of Justice investigative team and leading experts will discuss identifying and preventing child sex trafficking at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Town Hall at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. You can register on Eventbrite. The event is free.

The panel will explore the Herald’s Epstein investigation from the first stories through current developments.

Nancy Ancrum, the Herald’s editorial page editor, will moderate the discussion. Panelists will be:

Julie K. Brown, investigative reporter, Miami Herald

Professor Marci Hamilton, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program Professor of Practice, University of Pennsylvania and CEO & Academic Director, CHILD USA

Emily Michot, visual journalist, Miami Herald

Hon. Kristy Nuñez, Miami-Dade County judge, Criminal Division

Somy Ali, founder and president, No More Tears

Perversion of Justice was a three-part investigative series that revealed the lenient plea deal the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, then headed by Alexander Acosta, gave to multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of creating a sex trafficking network involving underage girls.

Acosta resigned in July as Labor Secretary in the Trump administration, after a growing number of legal experts criticized the deal.

In 2005, Palm Beach police arrested Epstein after a parent complained that he had sexually abused her 14-year-old daughter. He pleaded guilty and was convicted of soliciting a prostitute and of procuring an underage girl for prostitution in 2008.

Epstein was arrested again on July 6, on federal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, accusing him of sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his New York jail cell on Aug. 10; the medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

At the time of Epstein’s suicide, the U.S. Marshals Service was investigating more recent reports of underage girls going to his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Two days after Epstein was found dead, the Marshals’ probes were shut down, and a week later the case was closed.

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Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.