Saturday 24 August 2019

Billionaire pal to stars hit with new charges of sex trafficking

Accused: Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by the FBI on Saturday
Accused: Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by the FBI on Saturday

David Millward

Jeffery Epstein, a billionaire financier and former friend of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, has been charged with sex trafficking, according to reports in the US.

Epstein (66) was arrested by FBI officers on Saturday, the New York Police Department confirmed. He was apprehended when his private jet landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey following a trip to Paris. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Epstein is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan.

He is due to appear before a federal magistrate today to face charges dating back to the 2000s.

The latest allegations come more than a decade after Epstein avoided federal criminal charges under a plea deal that faced considerable criticism. Under the 2007 plea agreement, Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under 18 for prostitution. Epstein, who faced a life sentence, was jailed for 13 months and registered as a sex offender. He was also required to compensate his victims.

It is unclear whether the latest allegations involve the same victims.

While imprisoned at the Palm Beach County Stockade, Epstein was allowed to work six days a week at his office.

The deal was challenged in the courts by Epstein's victims, one of whom, Virginia Roberts, claimed that she was forced to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew on three separate occasions.

She also alleged that she was paid €11,000 by Epstein as a "reward" for sleeping with the prince in 2001.

The allegations, made in documents filed in a Florida court, were denied by Andrew, who said they were untrue. In all, the prince issued three separate denials of sexual impropriety when the allegations surfaced in January 2015. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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