Count New York's marriage equality law as one more tool exploited by now-deceased sex predator Jeffrey Epstein.
A new lawsuit alleges Epstein blackmailed a teenage girl to have sex in exchange for him covering a needed surgery, according to NBC News. The plaintiff, identified as Katlyn Doe, also said Epstein forced her to marry another woman as a way of keeping her in the United States.
Epstein died by suicide earlier this month while in federal custody in New York, where he was held on sex abuse charges. His most recent arrest came years after he was sentenced in 2008 for related prostitution charges. Then, Epstein served just 13 months of an 18-month sentence, during which he was allowed to come and go from prison on work release. The lenient sentence has received scrutiny in the wake of an investigation by the Miami Herald.
The newest lawsuit alleges Epstein started blackmailing Katlyn, a non-U.S. citizen, before his initial sentence.
He had met the girl and started blackmailing her to have sex with him in exchange for medical care. But he also had Katlyn recruiting other girls for Epstein. Because of that work, Epstein needed to ensure Katlyn stayed in the country legally, the lawsuit alleges.
In 2013, two years after New York legalized same-sex marriage, Epstein arranged for Katlyn to wed a woman in Manhattan. He continued having sex with Katlyn for months into the sham marriage. But when she turned 25 and Epstein deemed her too old for his tastes, he kicked her out of his New York apartment, leaving her homeless.
Her marriage was dissolved in 2017, per an arrangement with Epstein, but the suit alleges he failed to pay her a promised $10,000 at that point.
Epstein also never did pay for that surgery.
The name of the plaintiff and her ex-wife were not revealed in the lawsuit, and the latest complaint is just one of several filed against Epstein's estate on behalf of former victims.