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Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein due in federal court after sex trafficking arrest

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein due in federal court after sex trafficking arrest

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Billionaire financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein will make his first appearance in a New York City federal court Monday after being arrested over the weekend on new sex-trafficking charges.

The 66-year-old wealthy hedge fund manager is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal jail near the Manhattan courthouse where he is due to appear.

While court documents related to the case have been kept under seal, Fox News has learned the indictment likely includes new victims and witnesses who spoke to authorities in New York over the past several months.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ALLEGED SEX TRAFFICKING INVOLVED LOCATIONS IN NY, VIRGIN ISLANDS, FLORIDA, NM RANCH: ATTORNEY

Attorney David Boies told Fox News on Sunday that Epstein will be charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, and he expected more superseding indictments would be added. Boies said both the public corruption unit and the sex trafficking unit in New York worked the investigation.

Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, has been arrested in New York on sex trafficking charges.

Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, has been arrested in New York on sex trafficking charges.
(AP Photo/Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, File)

“This is an important first step. Hopefully, prosecutors will focus on some of his [Epstein’s] co-conspirators going forward,” Boies told Fox News.

One law enforcement official told The Associated Press the case deals with allegations that Epstein paid underage girls for massages and molested them at his homes in Florida and New York.

Epstein, who once counted as friends former President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew and President Trump, was arrested Saturday at an airport near New York City after his private jet touched down from France. Court documents obtained by Fox News in 2016 showed that Clinton took at least 26 trips flying aboard Epstein’s private jet, known as the “Lolita Express,” and apparently ditched his Secret Service detail on some of the excursions.

In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla.
(Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP)

Records showed Trump apparently flew on the jet at least once, however, his legal team more recently has denied the two were friends.

Trump banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago estate “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” according to court documents filed by Bradley Edwards, the lawyer who has represented several Epstein accusers. That claim has not been confirmed by Trump or Mar-a-Lago, however, Trump has previously cited the allegations against Epstein in interviews.

BILLIONAIRE JEFFREY EPSTEIN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH SEX TRAFFICKING

Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein told the AP there’s almost no chance Epstein will be allowed to go home after the hearing. Under federal court rules, prosecutors can keep a defendant locked up for three extra days while preparing for a bail hearing without needing a reason. If that happens in Epstein’s case, it would mean a bail hearing on Thursday.

“The government is clearly seeking to have him detained,” Weinstein said.

Epstein’s arrest came amid renewed scrutiny of a once-secret plea deal that ended a federal investigation against him.

That deal, which has been challenged in Florida federal court, allowed Epstein, 66, to plead guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution.

Averting a possible life sentence, Epstein instead was sentenced to 13 months in jail. The deal also required he reach financial settlements with dozens of his once-teenage victims and register as a sex offender.

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Epstein’s deal was overseen by former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who is now Trump’s labor secretary. Acosta has defended the plea deal as appropriate under the circumstances, though the White House said in February that it was “looking into” his handling of the deal.

The deal, examined in detail in a series of reports in The Miami Herald, is being challenged in Florida federal court. 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 was not immediately clear whether that case and the new case involved the same victims since nearly all have remained anonymous. But Weinstein told the AP that deal only applied to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida, whereas the current case is being pursued by the Southern District of New York.

There are also no double jeopardy implications because Epstein’s guilty plea involved only state crimes, while the current case involves federal law.

Fox News Frank Miles and Gregg Re and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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