Billionaire financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, charged with sex trafficking
The financier is suspected of involving minors in prostitution
American financier Jeffrey Epstein was charged with sex trafficking on Monday: prosecutors claim he lured underage girls into his homes in New York and Florida and paid them for sexual services.
According to the prosecution, which was released to the public by a federal court in Manhattan, 66-year-old Epsteen «deliberately selected minors and knew that many of his victims were under the age of 18, including because in some cases underage victims told him their age».
Epstein himself insists that he entered into relations with the alleged victims by mutual consent and considered them adults.
Epstein’s lawyer Jack Goldberger said before the charges that his client did not intend to admit his guilt.
Known for his acquaintances with politicians and royalty, the financier first came to the attention of the authorities in 2005 when police in Palm Beach, Florida received reports that he was seducing minors on his estate in that city..
About ten years ago, Epstein avoided similar charges in Florida through a deal with the prosecutor’s office. He was accused of molesting several dozen minors between 1999 and 2007. However, Epsteen pleaded guilty to less serious charges and served a 13-month prison sentence, during which he was allowed to go to work..
The signing of the agreement was attended by Attorney Alex Acosta, who is now the Minister of Labor in the administration of President Donald Trump..
Ministry of Labor spokesman declined to comment on Epstein’s arrest on Sunday.
Some of Epsteen’s accusers have challenged the deal he made with the Florida authorities in court, insisting that it violated their rights. In February of this year, Florida District Court ruled that the deal was a violation of the law..
Regardless, the Justice Department said last month that there was no reason to cancel the deal. House Democrats, during a hearing in April, voiced discontent with Acosta over his role in the case..
Acosta responded by saying that human trafficking – «very important problem», and stressed that it was thanks to the efforts of the prosecutor’s office that Epsteen still went to prison and was included in the list of persons who committed crimes of a sexual nature.
The Ministry of Justice is conducting an investigation to determine whether the prosecutors committed a violation of professional ethics in the Epstein case..