Epstein's private island just missed direct hit from Hurricane Dorian, forecasts show

Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY

The private island owned by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was in Hurricane Dorian's path but appeared to have missed a direct hit, forecast maps show.

Little St. James Island, which is southeast of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was east of Dorian's direct line through the Caribbean.

The storm had reached Category 1 status, with winds up to 75 mph, when it passed between St. Thomas and the Puerto Rican island of Culebra around 2 p.m. ET Wednesday.

While Dorian's exact impact on Little St. James wasn't immediately clear, most of the U.S. Virgin Islands did not see devastating damage.

St. Thomas was experiencing an islandwide blackout and had downed trees and at least one downed electric pole, government spokesman Richard Motta said.

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Representatives for Epstein, who died in his jail cell in what an autopsy report classified as a suicide, did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment. He had been awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking children.

Epstein, 66, purchased the island more than two decades ago. A stone mansion on the island's northern tip had cream-colored walls and a bright turquoise roof. Its gold dome flew off during the 2017 hurricane season.

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Speaking with the Associated Press, Kevin Goodrich, who is from St. Thomas and operates boat charters, said, “Everybody called it ‘Pedophile Island.’ ”

Women who say they were sexually assaulted as girls by Epstein had their day in court Tuesday, venting anger, shedding tears and demanding justice during a hearing over whether to dismiss his sex-trafficking indictment.

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A judge on Thursday formally dismissed the indictment, according to the Associated Press. Dismissal is normally routine in cases where a criminal defendant dies before trial or conviction. 

An unnamed former employee of Epstein told the AP that he saw multiple young women on Epstein's private island, but he believed they were older than 18.

At least one  accuser said in a court affidavit that she participated in an orgy on the island, as well as had sex with Epstein and other people.

Contributing: Kevin McCoy and John Bacon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeffrey Epstein Little St. James Island just off Hurricane Dorian path