July 08, 2019
On Saturday, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of underage girls in New York City and Florida between the years of 2002 and 2005, according to a report first made by The Daily Beast.
According to three law enforcement officials, Epstein is set to appear in court on Monday and is currently being held at the federal lockup in Manhattan.
His arrest comes about 12 years after a 2008 case in which he was given a secret plea deal that allowed him to avoid federal prosecution. Epstein allegedly ran an international sex ring in which he would traffic underage girls to and from the United States. He was let off with two minor charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution, both to which he plead guilty. He served only 13 months of an 18-month prison sentence.
According to a report from The Daily Beast, the new indictment against Epstein will be unsealed on Monday in Manhattan federal court and reportedly allege that he sexually exploited minors by offering them cash for “massages” in which he would molest or sexually abuse them in his Upper East Side, New York mansion or his house in Palm Beach, Florida. Epstein may face one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors – a charge that could see him in prison for a maximum of 45 years.
Working on the case is the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York, and helping them are the New York district’s human-trafficking officials, as well as the FBI.
A number of Epstein’s employees and associates helped recruit girls who were as young as 14. Some girls went on to become recruiters themselves. According to The Daily Beast report, Epstein knew the victims were underage as all this was happening.
David Bories, who represents Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Sarah Ransome, two alleged victims of Epstein, said to The Daily Beast, “It’s been a long time coming – it’s been too long coming. It is an important step towards getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise.”
“We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible.”
Paul Cassell, an attorney representing a number of alleged Epstein victims, said, “If today’s report is true, it only proves that Epstein should have been charged by federal prosecutors 12 years ago in Florida. With his money, Epstein was able to buy more than a decade of delay in facing justice – but fortunately he wasn’t able to postpone justice forever.”
In a statement, Cassell added, “While New York prosecutors are apparently seeking to hold Epstein accountable, the fight will continue to force federal prosecutors in Florida to do the same thing. While Epstein was at the head of the international sex trafficking organization, that conspiracy could not have functioned without many other playing their part. Jane Doe 1 and 2 will continue to fight for all of Epstein’s co-conspirators to be held accountable in New York, Florida, and anywhere else they committed crimes.”
Jeffrey Epstein is a billionaire New York financier who has connections with many prominent figures such as former president Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump, actor Kevin Spacey, and Prince Andrew.
According to flight logs obtained by Gawker in 2015, Bill Clinton took several trips between 2002 and 2003 on the “Lolita Express” to Epstein’s private island where Epstein and his associates allegedly trafficked and sexually abused underage girls.
In one instance, Epstein flew Clinton along with actor Kevin Spacey to Africa. Clinton praised Epstein as a “committed philanthropist” while speaking to New York Magazine and said he enjoyed Epstein’s “insights and generosity” during such trip.
“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science,” said a spokesperson for Clinton. “I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS.”
In 2015, Virginia Roberts Guiffre filed a declaration claiming that Epstein loaned underage girls to famous friends such as Prince Andrew.
In response, Buckingham Palace released a statement vehemently denying her claims: “It is emphatically denied that the HRH The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. The allegations made are false and without any foundation.”
Around the same time in 2002, Donald Trump spoke highly of Epstein, saying, “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Bradley Edwards, an attorney for one of Epstein’s accusers, said that Trump was “the only person” to provide assistance when Edwards served subpoenas and notices to individuals connected to Epstein.
“The only thing I can say about President Trump is that he is the only person who… picked up the phone and said, let’s just talk,” said Edwards. “I’ll give you as much time as you want. I’ll tell you what you need to know, and was very helpful in the information that he gave and gave no indication whatsoever that he was involved in anything untoward whatsoever, but had good information. That checked out and that helped us and we didn’t have to take a deposition of him in 2009.”
As reported by Radar in April 2016, “Trump was among dozens of renowned New Yorkers who knew Epstein socially but ostracized him after Palm Beach police uncovered the financier’s sleazy double life,” saying that Trump “once barred child molester Jeffrey Epstein from his famed Mar-a-lago club after the presidential candidate caught him hitting on a young girl.”
– MK. II