As The Daily Beast first reported on Saturday, “billionaire pedophile” Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested. Epstein will appear in a New York court on Monday to be charged with sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005.
The reporting was independently confirmed by The Associated Press.
According to three law enforcement officials briefed on the matter, Epstein was taken into federal custody.
“One of the officials said Epstein is accused of paying underage girls for massages and molesting them at his homes in Florida and New York,” the AP reports.
As the Daily Beast notes, authorities have been targeting Epstein for more than a decade, but the millionaire has managed to avoid meaningful jail time. The new indictment pertains to Epstein’s alleged sexual exploitation of underage girls; he is reportedly accused of paying the girls money for massages, and then molesting and sexually abusing them in one of his mansions.
The millionaire will allegedly be charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, and with one count of sex trafficking of minors, which means that he is facing punishment of up to 45 years in prison.
“We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible,” attorney David Boies, who represents Epstein accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Sarah Ransome, told the Daily Beast.
Epstein is also known for being acquainted with a number of high profile individuals. Former President Bill Clinton, and President Donald Trump have both spent time with him, and Clinton even traveled with Epstein to countries such as Africa.
Hedge fund manager, a former friend of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, accused of molesting underage girls, a decade after a plea deal ended a federal investigation https://t.co/El9aRUm1KX— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) July 7, 2019
President Trump appears to have been relatively close friends with the millionaire. As Raw Story reports, Trump biographer Tim O’Brien, known for authoring TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, tweeted following news of Epstein’s arrest a number of statements Trump had made about his longtime acquaintance.
In 2002, Trump described Epstein as a “terrific guy,” discussing the fact that the millionaire “likes beautiful women,” young girls in particular.
“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.”
As the publication notes, Trump and Epstein appear to have been close, at least according to scans from Epstein’s phone book. The accused pedophile even had Ivana and Ivanka Trump’s names in his phone book, and he allegedly had 16 different ways to contact Donald Trump.