A newly unsealed indictment charges that billionaire Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused dozens of underage girls between 2002 and 2005.
The indictment said Epstein paid hundreds of dollars in cash to girls as young as 14 to have sex with him at his Upper East Side home and his estate in Palm Beach. Epstein, whose political connections include President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton, was arrested Saturday.
Documents accessed by Fox News have shown Clinton flew at least 26 times on a plane of Epstein’s called the “Lolita Express.”
The indictment said Epstein, 66, would demand “massages,” which would be done either fully or partially nude, and then became “increasingly sexual in nature.”
The girls he abused were paid to recruit other underage girls, the indictment said.
“In so doing, Epstein maintained a steady supply of new victims to exploit,” according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which said unidentified “employees and associates” would communicate with underage girls to set up sessions in Manhattan.
“While the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, the victims – then children and now young women – are no less entitled to their day in court,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman of the Southern District of New York said at a Monday morning news conference.
Berman said federal prosecutors will seek to have Epstein detained during trial and not to receive bail, according to NBC.
Berman also said Epstein is a “significant flight risk” because of his “enormous wealth” and because of the seriousness of the charges.
“We think he has every incentive to try and flee the jurisdiction. And when you have two planes and you live much of the year abroad, you know, we think that’s a very real risk,” he said.
Epstein is charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
Berman said his office is “not bound” by the plea deal Epstein struck years ago with federal prosecutors in Florida, one which allowed him to largely avoid jail time.
“Jeffrey Epstein entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the Southern District of Florida,” Berman said, according to CNN. “That agreement only binds, by its terms, only binds the Southern District of Florida. The Southern District of New York is not bound by that agreement and is not a signatory to that agreement.”
Berman said prosecutors are not done with their investigation. A search of Epstein’s properties in New York turned up photos of what appear to be underage girls.
“If you believe you are a victim of this man, Jeffrey Epstein, or you have evidence or information relating to the conduct alleged in the indictment unsealed today, we want to hear from you,” he said during the news conference.
If you believe you are a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, or have information about the conduct alleged in the Indictment unsealed today, please call 1-800-CALL FBI pic.twitter.com/f3ZMThOxJX
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) July 8, 2019
Attorney David Boies, who represents three women who claimed that Epstein abused them, said the indictment was a victory.
“It’s a great step forward. This one is something that was a long time coming — too long. It is a great step towards getting justice for these victims, and the prosecutors in New York deserve a lot of credit for putting this together,” he said.
“This indictment is important on two levels: First and most important, it is a big step towards getting justice for the many victims of Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. Second, it’s also important because it is a correction of what should have happened 10 years ago. The Justice Department is now doing what it can to make things right,” he said.
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