The recent arrest of hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy charges brings to mind his previous encounter with law enforcement in 2006 when he was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. After various negotiations, Epstein’s attorneys reached a plea agreement with then-federal prosecutor and now Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and the 53-page indictment was never filed.

With these recent allegations, various names have surfaced on social media sites of acquaintances of Mr. Epstein purported to have engaged in similar activity over the years. Media accounts keep referring to several of the alleged victims who have come forward with claims as “underage women.” These young girls in their early teens, children really, were deserving of the expectation that adult influences in their lives were there to nurture and protect them, not to exploit them in the pursuit of self-gratification.

At the end of the day, this isn’t about political connections, celebrity status, Republican or Democrat, the number of Twitter or Facebook followers or economic standing. This is about the protection and sanctity of the most innocent and vulnerable among us.

In a just and moral world, no one is above the law.

Rusty Washum

Yuma

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