A huge and luxurious desert ranch in the south of Santa Fe is under investigation due to Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case. The news of the investigation comes as Epstein, a registered sexual offender in both New York and Florida, faces a slew of new charges including sex trafficking of minors. A legal loophole which allowed Epstein to avoid registration in New Mexico is coming under increased scrutiny.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas stated that New Mexico was severely lagging behind when it comes to updating old and weak laws which are supposed to protect children from abuse. He went on to claim that this was a defeat for the state and expressed his disappointment with the circumstances.
A spokesman confirmed that the attorney general’s office had interviewed potential victims who allegedly visited the ranch. The office has not disclosed how many were interviewed or went into detail about what allegedly took place at the property.
In a court filing from 2015 in Florida, a victim stated that Epstein had abused her at several locations, and this included the infamous New Mexico property.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 in Florida to charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution. This sentenced him to 13 months in jail as well as having to register as a sex offender. The controversial agreement was heavily criticized for ending a federal sex abuse investigation. This investigation involved at least 40 underage girls and could have secured a life sentence for Epstein.
Alexander Acosta, current labor secretary, stated that he would be stepping down from his position due to the way he handled the 2008 deal with Epstein. He was the U.S. attorney in Miami while he was handling the plea.
Epstein bought the infamous ranch from former NM Gov. Bruce King’s family years ago.
In 2010, the NM Department of Public Safety sent a letter stating that he had to register as a sex offender. However, a month later, they stated that he did not have to register. Epstein avoided registration due to the fact that the victim was 17, and the rules for the age of consent are different in New Mexico. Epstein would have been under obligation to register if the victim was 16 or under.