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Gov. DeSantis says he'll sign a Florida bill to release Jeffrey Epstein testimony

The Florida Legislature has unanimously approved the bill
Christopher Boswell
The Florida Legislature has unanimously approved the Jeffrey Epstein bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he will sign a bill clearing the way for the release of grand jury testimony about the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein, a wealthy Palm Beach resident, was investigated by Palm Beach County authorities in 2006 for allegedly sexually abusing young girls at his mansion, leading to a grand-jury investigation.

Through a deal approved by prosecutors in 2007, Epstein sidestepped federal charges and agreed to plead guilty to two state prostitution charges, including procuring a minor for sex.

The House and Senate this month unanimously approved the bill (HB 117), sponsored by Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman, R-Highland Beach, and Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton. It would expand an exception to a prohibition on the disclosure of testimony or evidence received by a grand jury.

Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on federal sex-trafficking offenses involving minor girls, and he was found dead in a New York jail in what was deemed a suicide.

The Palm Beach Post filed a lawsuit in 2019 in an effort to obtain a court order to unseal the 2006 grand jury records.

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Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.