Federal prosecutors have accused multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein with sex trafficking of minors and paying victims to recruit other underage girls, accusing Epstein of creating a network that allowed him to sexually abuse dozens of young victims.
A police investigation found that he had engaged in sex with underage girls, some as young as 13, according to reporting by the Miami Herald. In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to "soliciting and procuring" an underage person for "prostitution".
From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife) Melania Trump, former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.
It was a non-prosecution deal that Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY, said on Monday does not apply to the federal charges that his office has brought against Epstein.
"There is an extraordinary risk of flight, particularly given the defendant's exorbitant wealth, his ownership of and access to private planes capable of global travel, and his significant worldwide ties", prosecutors said in a court filing before Epstein's initial court appearance on Monday. He is in custody in NY and a bail hearing is set for Monday.
The meeting seemed to be by design, as Epstein said in 2002 that his elite social circle was a "collection" that he invested in. "In so doing, Epstein maintained a steady supply of new victims to exploit". He also registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to the victims identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy Virgin Islands landowner and longtime V.I. tax break beneficiary, was arrested by federal authorities Saturday on child sex trafficking charges.
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Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein. The indictment alleges that some victims were as young as 14 when Epstein sexually abused and recruited them in both NY and Florida.
It comes as a judge weighs up whether to throw out a plea bargain deal that let Epstein avoid federal charges - and a possible life sentence - over similar claims of sex trafficking.
That case unraveled in 2008 after Epstein was offered a secret plea deal by federal prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra of Florida ruled earlier this year that Epstein's victims should have been consulted under federal law about the deal, and he is now weighing whether to invalidate the deal.
It is unclear how many victims have come forward.
"I know he's done a great job as labour secretary, and that seems like a long time ago, but I know he's been a fantastic labour secretary", said the president.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Swecker said on "America's Newsroom" that he believes the current investigation is a "redo" of a previous probe that ended with Epstein receiving the "deal of the century".