Published: Mon, July 08, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Financier Jeffrey Epstein arrested on sex charges

Financier Jeffrey Epstein arrested on sex charges

Rumors had been circulating for months that Epstein was under investigation on sex charges in the Southern District of NY.

The grand jury returned a single felony solicitation of prostitution charge, and Epstein pleaded not guilty.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of NY, which is handling the case, declined to comment.

Two law enforcement officials said Epstein was taken into federal custody Saturday on charges involving allegations that date to the 2000s.

The Southern District of NY describes the Public Corruption Unit as a unit that "oversees the investigation and prosecution of corruption crimes committed by elected and appointed officials, government employees, and individuals and companies doing business with the city, state, and federal government".

He is expected to appear in court Monday, when the Southern District of NY prosecutor's office will unseal documents pertaining to accusations that he solicited or paid underage girls for sex at his NY and Palm Beach mansions, according to The Daily Beast, which first reported on his arrest. The arrest was part of a joint New York Police Department and FBI investigation.

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Epstein's 13-month sentence was one of the most lenient seen in USA history for a serial sex offender. The Herald reported he was allowed work release privileges, which let him leave jail six days a week for 12 hours a day to work in an office he had set up. If the alleged victims bring him their friends or others to pay for sex acts, he would pay them more.

He will face federak sex trafficking charges for incidents between 2002-2005.

The financier also has ties to President Trump, who was his neighbor in Palm Beach, Florida, and also reportedly flew on Epstein's jet.

Epstein is a politically-connected hedge fund manager, who's been closely associated with former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth II. The former US attorney has defended his handling of the case, saying at his March 2017 confirmation hearing for labor secretary that state prosecutors considered a charge that could have resulted in "zero jail time, zero registration as a sexual offender and zero restitution for the victims in this case". Although Epstein was found guilty of abusing more than 80 women, Acosta is reported to have helped Epstein cut a secret non-prosecution agreement that forced to a close a federal investigation into a trans-Atlantic sex trafficking operation of underage girls.

Under a controversial plea deal reached in 2007 with Alex Acosta, who was the US attorney in Miami at the time, Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of soliciting prostitution and avoided more serious federal charges relating to allegations of molesting dozens of young girls.

The Miami Herald published an investigation past year of the reported collaboration between federal prosecutors and Epstein's lawyers.

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