Jeffrey Epstein Case Judge Has Ties to Cops Who Want to Keep Records Secret

Judge Krista Marx did not disclose any potential conflicts of interest when ruling not to release grand jury records related to disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, despite having connections to those involved in the case.

Epstein was first investigated in 2005 by the Palm Beach Police Department after a women alleged her 14-year-old stepdaughter had been taken to Epstein's mansion and paid $300 to strip and massage him. The investigation resulted in the police filing a probable cause affidavit in May 2006, suggesting Epstein be charged with four counts of unlawful sex with minors and one count of sexual abuse.

Former Florida State Attorney Barry Krischer declined to prosecute Epstein on these charges. Instead, he took the unusual step of convening a grand jury—something generally only done in capital cases—and presented evidence from two victims. The grand jury charged Epstein with one count of felony solicitation of prostitution.

Marx is the Chief Judge in the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida in Palm Beach, Florida. Marx was formerly employed by Krischer. In addition, Marx's daughter works as an assistant state attorney for current State Attorney Dave Aronberg, while her son is a sheriff's deputy under Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, according to information uncovered by the Miami Herald's Julie K. Brown. Brown has written a number of articles for the Herald exposing Epstein.

Krista Marx
Judge Krista Marx is the Chief Judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Moya Photography/15th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Aronberg, along with county clerk Sharon Bock, was sued by The Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records. Marx dismissed the case Wednesday without disclosing that she had any connection to the defendant.

In January, after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered an investigation into why Krischer decided not to prosecute Epstein—or even speak to Epstein's accusers or their parents, according to The Palm Beach Post—and why Bradshaw allegedly allowed Epstein to have sex with women while in sheriff's custody, Marx also refused to unseal the records, characterizing the request as a "fishing expedition."

A "fishing expedition" is legal slang for when a prosecutor makes a non-specific search for information by calling for all the documents related to a case. Though the tactic is legal, it is often seen as an attempt by prosecutors to bolster a weak case by combing through mountains of information to look for anything incriminating.

When confronted by the Herald about Brown's findings, Marx declined to comment.

"A judge is prohibited from commenting on open cases. It is a clear rule of the judicial canons," Marx said.

Newsweek reached out to the ACLU for comment. This story will be updated with any response.

Jeffrey Epstein
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. Epstein is connected with several prominent people including politicians, actors and academics. Epstein was convicted of having sex with a underage girls. Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty

After the 2005 investigation and the 2006 grand jury, the FBI began investigating Epstein, filing a 53-page indictment in June 2007. Alexander Acosta, then a South Florida U.S. attorney, offered Epstein a controversial plea deal, which granted immunity from all federal charges to Epstein as well as four co-conspirators named in the indictment as well as any unnamed "potential co-conspirators." In return, Epstein was convicted as a sex offender and given an 18-month prison sentence, but only served 13 months with the ability to leave daily for work.

Acosta later claimed that he was told to offer the deal because Epstein "belonged to intelligence." However, a federal judge ruled in February 2019 that the plea deal had been illegal as Epstein's accusers were not notified. In July 2019, Acosta, then the Labor Secretary under President Donald Trump, resigned over his handling of the Epstein case.

Epstein was arrested on federal charges of trafficking dozens of girls in New York and Florida in July 2019. Two months later, he was found dead in his jail cell. His death had been ruled a suicide, though conspiracy theories alleging he was killed to keep quiet, as he had a number of connections to famous people.