Billionaire Democrat donor Jeffrey Epstein, 66, sits in jail after pleading not guilty this week to federal charges of running a child sex trafficking ring involving dozens of underage girls.
Prosecutors say Epstein is a significant flight risk and are asking that he be detained until his trial. He has a bail hearing next Monday, July 15.
Democrats are distancing themselves from the donor who’s influenced reached the highest levels in the Clinton and Obama administration and who made substantial contributions to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown, who has reported on Epstein’s case for years, told MSNBC on Sunday that “very powerful” people are nervous about potentially being implicated in Esptein’s case.
On Monday, former president Clinton was forced to issue a statement on Epstein, saying he knew nothing about the “terrible crimes” Epstein is accused of, even after it was revealed Clinton traveled extensively with the billionaire.
“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” the statement from a Clinton spokesperson reads.
“In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation,” the statement adds.
FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested Epstein Saturday for allegedly sex trafficking minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005.
Prosecutors say in court papers that they found a stockpile of “nude photographs of what appeared to be underage girls” after authorities raided his Manhattan mansion following his arrest Saturday.
Some of the pictures were on CDs with labels saying “Misc nudes 1,” “Girl pics nude” and the names of specific women.
Federal agents reportedly found the pictures in a locked safe in Epstein’s home.
Epstein is already a convicted pedophile and his arrest comes after years of accusations that he repeatedly sexually assaulted minor girls as young as 13-years-old. The Miami Herald reports that Epstein pled guilty in 2008 to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor.
Federal prosecutors negotiated a widely criticized secret plea deal with Epstein’s lawyers and did not inform the families of the victims until the judge approved. Epstein’s plea deal also shielded any co-conspirators in the case.
He served about one year in a Palm Beach, Florida jail.
The Herald reported in 2018 that Epstein was given preferential treatment during his time in prison. He was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail was allowed to leave six days a week for 12 hours a day,
Federal prosecutors on Monday filed new charges against Epstein, who they accuse of running a sex trafficking ring between his homes in New York and Florida.
The New York Times reports that Epstein is charged with using his influence as a powerful investor to bring underage girls to his townhouse in Manhattan. He is accused of transporting those girls between his townhouse in New York to his home in Palm Beach, Florida.
The girls were allegedly asked to give him massages that quickly turned into sex acts – including molestation. He allegedly paid these young victims in cash and asked them to recruit other underage girls to visit him.
The multiple sex trafficking charges carry a combined maximum sentence of up to 45 years in prison, according to The Daily Beast.
The Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York is working on the case with assistance from the district’s human-trafficking officials and the FBI.
Flight logs from Epstein’s private jet published by Gawker in 2015 put Clinton on the plane more than a dozen times.