The University of Harvard has announced it will donate part of the donations made by entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein to aid projects for victims of human trafficking and sexual abuse. Thus, the elite university responded to the allegations of receiving financial benefits from a convicted sex offender. Besides Harvard, other institutes such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are also criticized.
At the announcement, the university said, "This is an unusual step for the university, but we have decided that this is the right course of action in the circumstances of Epstein's disgusting crime." However, the amount passed on to aid projects is only about 186,000 unpaid dollars (about 168,000 euros) from Epstein's donations. Altogether the elite university had received in the years between 1998 and 2007 according to own statements money and property gifts worth approximately 8.9 million dollar from the entrepreneur. However, most of these have already flowed into research and teaching.
Serious abuse allegations
Epstein died recently. According to official figures, the multimillionaire committed suicide when he was again charged with allegations of abuse. The well connected businessman was accused of sexually abusing dozens of minors. According to the indictment Epstein was accused of having built a Abuse Ring between 2002 and 2005 in New York and Florida. The entrepreneur had once been sentenced to prison for sexual offenses. As of 2005, a research revealed that Epstein had been abusing women and underaged girls for years and forced them into prostitution.
After the death of Epstein, a critical debate has arisen as to whether a company, college or scientist and scientist should accept money from a convicted criminal. Because even after Epstein was dismissed for good leadership after 13 months, some institutions have continued to accept funds of the convicted, but the benefits partially obfuscated under false names. That is why the head of MIT Media Lab, Jōichi Itō, had recently resigned.