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Epstein, billionaire accused of sex abuse and trafficking, donated to Interlochen Arts Academy

Interlochen Center for the Arts
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier accused of sex crimes against many girls, visited and donated to Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Epstein has been accused of preying on girls who aspired to be performers, although the school says they have no record of any complaints from current or former students.

He was arrested July 6, and has formally been charged with sex trafficking of minors.

Epstein was a student camper at Interlochen in the late 1960s.

In an email to Interlochen staff, President Trey Devey says Epstein made contributions to the school and sponsored the building of a visitors cabin on campus. 

The Daily Beast reports that although the school has no record of complaints against Epstein, the mother of one former Interlochen student claimed Epstein targeted and groomed her then-13-year-old daughter.

Devey says Epstein stayed at that lodge for a week in August 2000.

In a statement, Interlochen said, “Our policies, both presently and during the time in which Mr. Epstein was an active donor, do not permit unsupervised contact between students and donors.”

The last donation the school received from Epstein was in 2003. Interlochen cut ties with him in 2007, including removing his name from the lodge he sponsored.

Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
IPR's Taylor Wizner is passionate about empowering communities through solid reporting.