Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minor girls, some as young as 14, The Daily Beast reported. The investor, who was arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force, is expected to appear in federal court on Monday.
Twelve years ago in 2007, Epstein escaped harsh punishment when he secured a secret non-prosecution plea deal with Florida federal prosecutors, including the man who is now President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Alexander Acosta. In the subsequent years, Epstein was hit with numerous lawsuits from victims and media investigations into his abuse of young women but managed to evade federal charges, thanks in large part to his wealth and connections, until now.
According to The Daily Beast, Epstein’s indictment will be unsealed when he appears in court on Monday facing one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors from 2002-2005. The indictment will reportedly detail how Epstein allegedly paid minors to give him “massages” and molested the young women in his lavish homes in New York City and Palm Beach. The charges could come with a maximum sentence of 45 years. A bail hearing is also set for Monday.
Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after returning from Paris, the Miami Herald reported. On Saturday morning, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Epstein’s Manhattan residence.
According to Julie K. Brown, a Miami Herald investigative reporter who has broken multiple stories on the Epstein case, numerous high-profile people may have been involved with Epstein’s crimes. “I’ve felt a lot of pressure,” Brown said on MSNBC Sunday. “Needless to say, these are very powerful people and I think that they’re sweating a little bit, especially today. We don’t know how much, how deep this went, how far-reaching it went in government, but there have been a lot of names that I could see on these message pads [listing clients] on a regular basis as part of the evidence. These message pads where they would call and leave Epstein messages, such as, ‘I’m at this hotel.’ Why do you do that, unless you’re expecting him to send you a girl to visit you at your hotel? So there are probably quite a few important people, powerful people, who are sweating it out right now. We’ll have to wait and see whether Epstein is going to name names.”
Brown also mentioned that Epstein had a “friendly” relationship with Donald Trump. And, one woman who alleges Epstein abused her said she was recruited while working as a towel girl at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Politico reported in 2017. Trump biographer Tim O’Brien also tweeted a quote from Trump about Epstein where the president allegedly said in 2002, “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Rolling Stone reached out to Epstein’s lawyer for comment but he did not immediately respond.