‘Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich’ projects not only the survivor’s struggles in coping with the abuse they received at the hands of Epstein but also how, in general, he managed to elude the justice system. His money and influence kept what was public knowledge, a book unopened. However, it is to be noted that several people tried to expose him for what he did and faced hurdles and disappointments at every juncture. Nonetheless, it was these struggles that lead to the eventual big reveal.
Who is Michael Reiter?
Michael Reiter was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He then worked as a police offer, and during this time, he bagged numerous certificates in law enforcement and public safety. He also has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Florida Atlantic University. Eventually, he obtained his master’s in HR development. One of the distinguished degrees he has is the Senior Executives, Local Government Program, and Crisis Management from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Reiter moved to the Palm Beach Police Department in 1981 when he was just 22. Before becoming a detective, he worked as a patrol officer. He specialized in organized crime and substance abuse. Well before being involved with Jeffrey Epstein’s case, Reiter had his fair share of experience working with other high profile cases. One of them was sourcing out drugs that lead to the death of David Kennedy due to drug overdose. The case was a long, drawn one. In 1985, he was appointed as a sergeant. He then headed the unit of organized crime. In 2001, he was promoted to the Chief of the police department.
In 2004, he came to know of Epstein’s involvement in human trafficking. While he did not have ample evidence, in the beginning, it came through quite soon. Even in the documentary, Reiter talks about how Epstein had made a donation to the PBPD. Eventually, however, there were reports of underaged girls going in and out of Epstein’s mansion. After a long set on interviews and investigations, in seven months, they had enough evidence to charge Epstein for sexual misconduct with minors. Reiter made it a point to return the donation sum back to Epstein as well. His evidence was inclusive of over 17 girls’ statements.
Whirlwind of Disappointments
As Reiter’s team obtained a search warrant to find evidence from Epstein’s home, they got to know that he had been informed of the search. This is because the whole house had been cleaned to get rid of the evidence, especially surveillance footage. They did, however, manage to find some evidence like memo pad notes that hinted at the fact that he was, in fact, in contact with school girls.
Reiter also faced a stone wall from the prosecutors who tried to negate the investigation at every turn. His disappointment with Barry Krischer’s lack of initiative, made him ask Krischer to remove himself from the case, citing ignorant treatment of the investigation. After seeing that this had no effect, the case was handed over to the FBI. Initially, he was met with statements like, “This is an easy case. This is a horrific situation. We’ll put him away for the rest of his life.” But, unfortunately, that is not what happened.
Former Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter on Jeffrey Epstein's sweetheart deal: Anyone who committed the acts that he admitted under a normal situation would be prosecuted and convicted. We believed he would spend the rest of his life in prison @WPBF25News pic.twitter.com/L2JKLUOkeU
— Terri Parker (@wpbf_terri) November 29, 2018
Reiter then met the prosecutor, Alex Acosta, to discuss the case, but was once again not met with much promise. Even though Acosta supposedly assured Reiter that things would work out, it didn’t. In 2007, Acosta did not charge Epstein in federal court. He also signed a non-prosecution deal. Then, Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution and got away with 13 months in prison and immunity for his co-conspirators. Reiter then wrote letters to the victims’ parents stating that they were not met with the due justice they deserved. In 2009, two things happened. Epstein got out of jail, and Reiter announced his retirement.
Where is Michael Reiter Now?
After his retirement from PBPD, he started Michael Reiter and Associates, a firm that provides a lot of services, some of them which include, security, and surveillance. He continues to live in Palm Beach with his wife, Janet Pleasants. Interestingly, he is also the town’s unofficial historian. After Epstein’s death, he has given several interviews. In one of them, he said: “I don’t have any contact with the victims, and if they’re listening now, I’m embarrassed for the way the criminal justice system treated them back then in Florida.”
Though Reiter does not keep an active social media presence, by what we can observe from his wife’s Instagram page, he is an avid photographer, who enjoys his personal life by going on vacations and such.
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