Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein never once checked in with city cops in the eight-plus years since a Manhattan judge ordered him to do so every 90 days — and the NYPD says it’s fine with that.
After being labeled a worst-of-the-worst, “Level 3” sex offender in 2011, Epstein should have reported in person to verify his address 34 times before he was arrested Saturday on federal child sex-trafficking charges.
Violating requirements of the state’s 1996 Sex Offender Registration Act — including checking in with law enforcement — is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison for a first offense.
Subsequent violations carry a sentence of up to seven years each.
But the NYPD hasn’t required the multimillionaire financier — who owns a $77 million Upper East Side townhouse — to check in since he registered as a sex offender in New York over the controversial 2008 plea bargain he struck in Florida amid allegations he sexually abused scores of underage girls in his Palm Beach mansion.
Several current and former high-ranking NYPD officials were shocked to learn from The Post that the department had given Epstein a pass on his periodic check-ins, with one saying, “It makes no sense.”
“The NYPD can’t modify a court order,” a source said. “If the judge says he has to report here, he has to report here.”
Another source said Epstein was “supposed to go to SOMU,” an acronym for the NYPD’s Sex Offender Monitoring Unit, located in the Manhattan criminal courthouse at 100 Centre St.
“If he didn’t, then he’s in violation and they could have arrested him,” the source said.
The NYPD maintains that Epstein, 66, wasn’t required to check in with New York cops because he claims his primary residence is a private island, Little St. John, in the US Virgin Islands.
But State Supreme Court Justice Ruth Pickholz considered and rejected that very argument by defense lawyer Sandra Musumeci during the Jan. 18, 2011, hearing.
Musumeci insisted that Epstein wasn’t a “resident of New York” and that his seven-story townhouse at 9 East 71st St. was a “vacation home” at which he had no plans to ever stay “longer than a period 10 days.”
Pickholz insisted that Epstein would have to abide by the mandatory reporting requirements for Level 3 offenders.
“I am sorry he may have to come here every 90 days,” she said, according to an official transcript. “He can give up his New York home if he does not want to come every 90 days.”
That was the same hearing where, in a highly controversial move, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office tried to argue on Epstein’s behalf that he should be deemed a low-risk “Level 1” offender, which would have exempted him from the reporting requirements.
The DA’s Office has said that the prosecutor in that case — Jennifer Gaffney, who quit last year — “made a mistake” and that DA Cyrus Vance Jr. was unaware of it at the time.
In March, an NYPD spokeswoman told the Washington Post that Epstein never checked in following Pickholz’s ruling. Asked repeatedly about that admission this week, the NYPD declined comment.
Asked about her ruling, state court spokesman Lucian Chalfen said that Pickholz “stands by what was said in court, on the record, at the hearing and has had no further role in any type of enforcement. That’s not the court’s role.”
In addition to verifying a sex offender’s address, the 90-day check-ins allow cops to take a new photograph if the offender’s appearance has changed, so it can be updated online.
The NYPD cop assigned to monitor Epstein has repeatedly complained to Vance’s Sex Crimes Unit that Epstein wasn’t in compliance, according to a source familiar with the matter.
But prosecutors told the cop to merely send Epstein a letter, reminding him of his reporting requirement.
A Vance spokesman denied that allegation, saying “the NYPD — which is the agency responsible for monitoring SORA compliance — has repeatedly told us that Mr. Epstein was in full compliance with the law.”
“Our office vigorously prosecutes all failure-to-verify cases. Our prosecutors did not and would not discourage the NYPD from making an arrest,” Vance spokesman Danny Frost said.
NYPD spokesman Phillip Walzak said the SOMU “monitored Epstein while his reporting address was in New York City.”
“The NYPD is proud of its hard work alongside our federal partners to make the case against Epstein that lead to his arrest for his vile crimes, and that will ultimately bring justice for his victims.”
An NYPD spokesman added that this took place years ago, before much of the current leadership at NYPD was in place.