Documents: Epstein ducked sex abuse questions in deposition

Sunday, 11 Aug, 2019

Federal prosecutors in NY charged Epstein with operating a sex trafficking ring in which he allegedly sexually abused dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, across the Atlantic coast in NY in Florida. The charges involved alleged abuse years earlier at Epstein's homes in Palm Beach and Manhattan.

But a cache of previously sealed legal documents, released on Friday by a federal appeals court, provides new, disturbing details about what was going on inside Mr. Epstein's homes and how his associates recruited young women and girls, including from a Florida high school.

Epstein, 66, was a hedge fund manager who hobnobbed with the rich, famous and influential, including presidents and a prince.

Epstein was arrested July 6 at New Jersey's Teterboro Airport after his return from France. Epstein had a constellation of important friends in business, political and society circles, including former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump.

On July 12, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned amid increasing scrutiny over the plea agreement as a federal prosecutor in South Florida.

Attorney Martin Weinberg has said Epstein has not committed crimes since pleading guilty to charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida in 2008. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison. While he was required to register as a sex offender, he was allowed to leave jail six days a week for 12 hours due to a work release provision.

Staff conducted live-saving measures and he was transported by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Spokespeople for the Bureau of Prisons, officials with the Metropolitan Correctional Center and Epstein's lawyers did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" by the news.

Officials suspect Epstein died by suicide. It was not clear whether the injuries were self-inflicted or from an assault, a person familiar with the matter said. He was being held on federal sex trafficking charges and was facing up to 45 years in prison.

According to the Guardian, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, reportedly met Epstein in the 1990s after being introduced by Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell.

But his lawyers maintained that the new charges brought by federal prosecutors in NY were covered by the deal and were improper.

She said Saturday that she would push to bring to justice those who helped Epstein even though his accusers will not get their day in court. Maxwell, in a deposition, has denied all allegations that she helped Epstein procure girls or young women, the Miami Herald reported. "Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered", Barr said in a statement.

US financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019.