Scotland Yard has received at least three complaints of sexual offences in relation to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, raising further questions about its decision not to launch an investigation.
A Channel 4 News investigation can reveal a woman contacted the Metropolitan Police in December 2019 to make allegations of sexual assault.
The Met said the woman did not make a formal statement and no investigation was commenced.
The complaint is known to be the third received by Scotland Yard relating to activities by Epstein and his associates. It raises further questions about the repeated decisions by the force not to launch a criminal inquiry in the UK.
The woman was known to be in London at the same time as Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell between 2000 and 2003.
The Metropolitan Police received two previous complaints relating to claims by Virginia Giuffre that she was pressured by Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s townhouse in London in March 2001 when she was aged just 17.
The Met today confirmed the first complaint was made by a charity campaigner in January 2015, and the second complaint was made directly by Ms Giuffre’s legal team in May 2015. The Met has never previously acknowledged they engaged with Giuffre’s legal representatives directly and ignored previous questions in relation to it.
The force decided in 2016 it would not launch an inquiry into the complaints. It reviewed that decision in 2019 but stood by it, saying in November 2019 that it was “not the appropriate authority” and it was clear that any investigation would be “largely focused on activities and relationships outside the UK”.
The existence of a third complaint in 2019 into sex offences relating to the Epstein scandal puts more pressure on the Met. Just weeks before the third complainant came forward, they had publicly ruled out a full investigation.
There are also questions about whether the new victim had any information about the claims made by Virginia Giuffre about her alleged encounter with Prince Andrew. He has strongly denied her claims against him and says he can’t recall ever meeting her.
Despite the 2019 complaint to the London force, the Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick appeared on Channel 4 News on 13 August 2020 where she reiterated the stated position of the MPS in relation to the Epstein scandal, stating: “…the locus and focus of any investigation in relation to Jeffrey Epstein is clearly in America, and if the Americans need our assistance at any stage, then we will give them that.”
Earlier this week, Scotland Yard announced it would “review” new allegations that convicted sex offender Epstein and his former partner Ghislaine Maxwell were implicated in the trafficking, grooming and abuse of young women and girls in the UK over a period spanning more than a decade.
It followed a Channel 4 News investigation revealing more than half a dozen claims relating to the UK.
Ms Maxwell is due to stand trial in November in a court in New York, in relation to allegations she trafficked young women to be abused by Epstein. She denies all the charges. She has previously denied any wrongdoing in the UK.
Epstein was found hanged in a Manhattan jail in August 2019. His death was recorded as suicide.
In a statement given to Channel 4 News, the Metropolitan Police said:
In January 2015 the MPS was contacted by a third-party following media reports concerning Jeffery Epstein. The MPS reviewed and considered the information provided.
In May 2015, the MPS was contacted by representatives of a person who made allegations of non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation against a US national, Jeffrey Epstein, and a British woman relating to events outside of the UK and an allegation of trafficking to central London in March 2001.
Officers assessed the available evidence, interviewed the complainant and obtained early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. Following the legal advice, it was clear that any investigation into human trafficking would be largely focused on activities and relationships outside the UK.Officers therefore concluded that the MPS was not the appropriate authority to conduct enquiries in these circumstances and, in November 2016, a decision was made that this matter would not proceed to a full criminal investigation.That decision was reviewed following the death of Jeffrey Epstein in August 2019 and in November 2019 the MPS confirmed that it would remain unchanged.In December 2019 the MPS was contacted by representatives of another person regarding allegations of sexual assault against Jeffrey Epstein. Officers spoke to this person in February 2020 and recorded their allegations.However, the person did not make a formal statement or wish officers to pursue the allegations. No investigation was commenced.No other allegations of crime have been made at this time to the MPS in connection with matters related to Jeffrey Epstein.The MPS has continued to liaise and offer assistance with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein. We are not prepared to discuss what information we have or have not shared with other law enforcement agencies.We are reviewing the information provided by Channel 4 News. As stated previously, we will investigate where there is sufficient evidence of an offence having taken place, where we are the appropriate authority to do so and when those against whom allegations are made are alive. At this time, no investigation has been commenced.