Jeffrey Epstein, a multimillionaire financier and convicted sex offender, was reportedly arrested on Saturday in New York and charged with sex trafficking minors, The Daily Beast reports.
The charge reportedly relates to incidents that allegedly occurred in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, three law enforcement sources told The Daily Beast.
Epstein will reportedly appear in federal court in New York on Monday. The new indictment, which is currently sealed, will reportedly allege that Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in his Upper East Side and Palm Beach homes. The 66-year-old Epstein will reportedly face a sentence of up to 45 years.
Epstein's alleged abuse has been the subject of multiple lawsuits for more than a decade, but he has mostly skirted jail time. In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to Florida state charges of soliciting prostitution while avoiding more serious federal charges relating to allegations of molesting dozens of young girls. He wound up serving 13 months in a private wing of a county jail. Read more at The Daily Beast. Tim O'Donnell
Millionaire Jeffrey Epstein reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in 2007 that allowed him to serve just 13 months in county jail on two Florida state charges of soliciting a prostitute, at least one of whom was a minor. That deal, approved by former prosecutor and current Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, was already widely seen as overly lenient before a federal judge ruled last month that Acosta's team violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
The underage victim Epstein pleaded guilty to having sex with was 16, not the 14-year-old girl who first alerted police to Epstein's underage sexual activities, The Washington Post reported Sunday night. "The decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen," confirmed by state prosecutors, "has eased his obligations to register as a sex offender." In more than half of U.S. states, the age of consent is 16. So in New Mexico — where Epstein owns a 7,600-acre ranch — for example, he does not have to register as a sex offender because his listed victim was 16; in Florida and the Virgin Islands, Epstein is classified as a lower-risk offender.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra said that in reviewing the federal non-prosecution agreement, he saw evidence that Epstein violated sex trafficking laws and abused at least 30 girls between 1997 and 2007, and an investigation by the Miami Herald found 80 girls and women who said they were victimized by Epstein. Prosecutors "had a grab bag of 40 girls to choose from" in charging Epstein, Spencer Kurvin, a lawyer representing the 14-year-old victim, told the Post. "The rug has been swiped out from under the one girl who was brave enough to come forward and break this thing."