The scandal surrounding the close ties of the late multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein to US elite universities continues to spread. The president of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has now admitted that he has officially thanked the convicted sex offender for financial benefits.
Rafael Reif said on the university's website that he had been contacted by lawyers investigating the MIT's involvement in the case and sent a letter of thanks to Epstein. "Apparently, I signed this letter on August 16, 2012, about six weeks after I started running," Reif explained.
The donation took place four years after the conviction of Epstein. The investment banker was sentenced to 13 months' imprisonment in 2008 for the prostitution of young women and since then has been treated as a sex offender. He is said to have sexually abused underage girls for years and instigated prostitution.
After another arrest for serious allegations of abuse, the 66-year-old was found dead in early August in his New York prison cell. According to the US Department of Justice, he took his own life. In a conviction, the millionaire, who had good contacts with numerous politicians and celebrities, threatened up to 45 years in prison. (Read more about the case here.)
Several employees of the MIT administration knew of donations that Epstein had sent to the university between 2013 and 2017, Reif explained in the letter. They asked Joan Ito, director of research institute Media Lab, who has since stepped down, to ensure that the donor remains anonymous so Epstein can not use it to restore his reputation.
MIT President Rafael Reif had already publicized in August "full of shame and pain" that the university had received a total of about $ 800,000 from Epstein and so helped distract from his actions: "No excuse can make up for that."
Epstein sought the closeness of scientists and academics who obviously overlooked his biography out of self-interest. This multi-million dollar network also benefited other education and research facilities in the United States.
Campus of Harvard University
One of the biggest beneficiaries is Harvard University. Its President Lawrence Bacow has now made public that the elite institution had received a total of about nine million dollars from Epstein between 1998 and 2007. (Learn more about Epstein's links to elite universities.)
Any unissued amounts would be donated to victims of sex crimes, Bacow said, adding $ 186,000. Epstein's links to Harvard and other universities are a source of "significant concern," Bacow continued. He also assured that a donation offer was rejected after Epstein's conviction in 2008.