Published: Wed, July 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Jeffrey Epstein: Billionaire formally charged with sex trafficking

Jeffrey Epstein: Billionaire formally charged with sex trafficking

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign over what she referred to as an "unconscionable agreement" with Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted Monday on sex trafficking charges in a NY federal court. He could get up to 45 years in prison if convicted. Future US President Donald Trump called him a "terrific guy". The prosecutor said that after Epstein's arrest, investigators searched his NY home and found photos "of what appeared to be underage girls". Authorities also found papers and phone records corroborating the alleged crimes, and a massage room still set up the way accusers said it appeared, prosecutors said.

Epstein will remain in jail until his bail hearing scheduled for July 11.

Epstein had been the Duke of York's friend for more than a decade and lent his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson money to settle a bill.

Acosta was a federal prosecutor in South Florida when he was involved in a secret 2008 plea deal that let Epstein avoid federal charges. "We are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment".

Berman said Epstein allegedly sexually exploited dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005.

Flight logs obtained by Fox in 2016 showed that Clinton took at least 26 trips on Epstein's plane, known as the "Lolita Express".

Yesterday the former U.S. president said he knew "nothing about the awful crimes" that Epstein admitted in Florida, or those he had recently been charged with.

Epstein was arrested yesterday and is due to make his first court appearance in New York City today.

Also available on Getty, the caption reads: "New York Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of Radar Magazine at Hotel QT".

The home, formerly a prep school, is across the street from a home owned by Bill Cosby and has been valued at about $110 million.

The deal, examined in detail in a series of stories in Florida's The Miami Herald newspaper, is being challenged in federal court in Florida.

Epstein had faced a lengthy prison sentence amid similar allegations in Florida in 2007 but struck a deal letting him plead guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution.

The congresswoman insisted POTUS Trump was well aware of Alex Acosta's employment background and his part in Epstein's earlier plea deal that safeguarded the tycoon from federal charges and reduced a potential life sentence to just 18 months, 13 of which he nominally served. He was also registered as a sex offender. "And so that helped lead the drive".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday night that Acosta should step aside. Berman would not say why that was done. A spokeswoman for the Labor Department declined to comment on Sunday.

Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein agreed that the non-prosecution deal applies only to federal prosecutors in the Florida, not those in NY.

Mrs Giuffre, previously Virginia Roberts, has alleged she was among a number of young girls who were abused by Epstein and others when she was a teenager.

Buckingham Palace has vehemently denied any involvement by Prince Andrew, and Mr Dershowitz has accused the victims of lying about him.

In February, a federal judge in Florida called the agreement illegal.

"That agreement only binds the Southern District of Florida", Berman said. The Department of Justice, which oversees federal prosecutors, has opened an investigation into whether the lawyers committed "professional misconduct" in the way they resolved the case.

"The past can not be undone; the government committed itself. and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions", prosecutors wrote.

"He has enormous wealth", Mr Berman said.

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