Jeffrey Epstein, Billionaire Long Accused of Molesting Minors, Is Charged


Jeffrey Epstein, Billionaire Long Accused of Molesting Minors, Is Charged

Jeffrey E. Epstein, a billionaire New York financier long accused of molesting dozens of young girls, has been charged by federal prosecutors with sex trafficking, two people with knowledge of the case said on Saturday night.

Mr. Epstein was arrested in the New York area and is in federal custody. He is expected to appear before a federal magistrate on Monday.

Mr. Epstein had avoided federal criminal charges in 2007 and 2008 in a widely criticized plea deal after he was accused of paying dozens of underage girls for sexual massages in Florida.

Before then, Mr. Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, had been friendly with Donald J. Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

He pleaded guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting prostitution, served 13 months in a county lockup and registered as a sex offender. His extraordinary jail arrangement allowed him to get out of the Palm Beach County Stockade six days a week to work out of his office.

The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, which brought the charges against Mr. Epstein, declined to comment on Saturday night.

Defense lawyers for Mr. Epstein could not immediately be reached for comment.

Women who said they were Mr. Epstein’s victims have repeatedly assailed federal prosecutors for reaching the nonprosecution agreement with him more than a decade ago.

Jack Scarola, a lawyer for two of the women, said he had not been informed of the arrest.

“But given his extensive pattern of past criminal conduct and the apparent addictive nature of his aberrant behavior, an arrest comes as no surprise,” Mr. Scarola said on Saturday night.

The new charges against Mr. Epstein were first reported on Saturday night by The Daily Beast.

In the Florida investigation, the authorities found that Mr. Epstein paid cash to dozens of girls, some of them as young as 14 or 15, to give him nude massages that often ended in masturbation, oral sex or, in at least one case, forcible rape.


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