Jeffrey Epstein 'abused a woman while on work release' claims lawyer

Thursday, 18 Jul, 2019

Accuser: Courtney Wild (centre), an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, outside the NY courthouse.

Epstein is facing charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, and a federal judge is set to decide whether to approve his bail request in court Thursday.

"It was not for some business arrangement and it was for, if you're in jail, improper sexual conduct", said Edwards, who declined to identify the woman.

Epstein, 66, was arrested on July 6 after flying into New Jersey's Teterboro Airport by private plane from Paris.

"He is a scary person to have walking on the streets", said Wild, who lives in Palm Beach, where Epstein has a residence.

During the same Tuesday press conference in which Edwards made these allegations, Stan Pottinger, one of Wild's other attorneys, provided a confidential phone number that any of Epstein's other victims could call to report allegations against him.

As a United States attorney in Florida, Acosta at the time did not prosecute Epstein on federal sex trafficking charges, but reportedly agreed in a secret deal to the lesser counts. Authorities also raided Epstein's New York City mansion and seized evidence.

Lawyers for Epstein said their client had had an unblemished record since he pleaded guilty more than a decade ago to a state prostitution charge in Florida and agreed to register as a sex offender.

At a hearing Monday in Manhattan, Assistant US Attorney Alex Rossmiller told US District Judge Richard Berman that the government found the cash and passport, along with valuable art and "dozens of diamonds" hidden inside the accused paedophile's $77m Upper East Side mansion.

Prosecutors have said Epstein must remain in jail to prevent him fleeing the country, citing his wealth and connections overseas, as well as allegations he paid two potential witnesses previous year in an apparent effort to influence them.

At the hearing, Epstein's lawyers argued that he had the right to be out on bail in order to prepare his defense.

Prosecutors, however, argued that "it's underage girls that are involved in this case, and it's underage girls that are the victims". If that's true, it at least dents the contention from Epstein's attorneys that he has behaved as a model citizen since his conviction, such as it was.

"He was inappropriate with me", she said, adding that she didn't want to share more details.

In the meantime, they said that Epstein's brother, Mark, is prepared to sign a bond "in the full amount of his own net worth, which exceeds $100 million", to secure Epstein's pre-trial release.

The lawyer Brad Edwards spoke alongside a woman named Courtney Wild, who says Epstein began abusing her when she was 14 years old. If there are victims from after 2008, let's hope they come forward soon - if they haven't already done so quietly with federal prosecutors. "You are not alone, and this was not your fault".

Alexander Acosta, who handled the 2008 case as US attorney for the Southern District of Florida, resigned as secretary of labor under President Donald Trump amid fresh outrage over that plea deal.

In February of this year, U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra ruled in favor of Wild and other Epstein accusers, finding that the federal government failed to confer with the victims in advance of the deal.

Courtney Wild, left, joined by her attorney Brad Edwards, reads a statement during a news conference, calling on victims of Jeffrey Epstein to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation or lawyers with their information, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in NY.