Ohio State reviewing donations from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

A gift from Epstein's foundation was put toward the naming rights of the Les Wexner Football Complex. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
A gift from Epstein's foundation was put toward the naming rights of the Les Wexner Football Complex. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Ohio State said Tuesday that it’s launching a review of monetary contributions from Jeffrey Epstein and his foundation.

The financier was arrested and charged with sex trafficking minors earlier in July. That arrest came after Epstein got a sweetheart plea deal for sex crimes against underage victims in 2008. The prosecutor in that 2008 case was Alex Acosta, the now-former Labor Secretary of the United States. Acosta resigned Friday amidst pushback against his handling of Epstein’s case over a decade ago.

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In its statement, Ohio State said that Epstein had donated $1,000 to the Wexner Center for the Arts Membership Fund. It also said that his nonprofit, titled the C.O.U.Q. Foundation, had anonymously donated $2.5 million to the school in 2007. That money was pooled with $2.5 million from the Leslie H. Wexner Charitable Fund to name the Les Wexner Football Complex.

Columbus Business First reported the donation from the C.O.U.Q. fund earlier Tuesday.

“Epstein is a convicted sex offender whose crimes are reprehensible, and his association with these gifts to the university is concerning,” the school’s statement said. “Ohio State is conducting a complete review of the giving history to the university by Epstein and known associated entities and will take additional action as appropriate.”

Epstein previously served as Wexner’s money manager. Wexner, the CEO of L Brands, said in a statement last week that he would not have employed Epstein if he had any idea about his former money manager’s actions and regretted his previous association with Epstein. He also said that he had severed all ties with Epstein in 2007 before his 2008 plea deal.

As part of the non-prosecution agreement that Epstein agreed to in 2008, he served 13 months of minimum security jail time in exchange for pleading guilty to two Florida state prostitution charges.

The Miami Herald reported earlier in 2019 that the deal happened despite the investigation into Epstein finding three dozen underage female victims. Those victims were also not notified of the plea deal Epstein received, a breach of federal law.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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