Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein arrested for alleged sex trafficking
Billionaire convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested Saturday in connection with federal sex trafficking allegations, law enforcement officials said.
The arrest stems from incidents spanning from 2002 to 2005, three law enforcement officials said.
Epstein, 66, of Palm Beach, Florida, had flown from Paris to New York when he was arrested in Teterboro, New Jersey, the officials said. The arrest was part of a joint NYPD and FBI investigation.
The New York Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the FBI declined to comment.
The Epstein case was led by SDNY’s Public Corruption Unit, working with the sex crimes division, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
Three senior law enforcement officials confirm that Jeffrey Epstein was in custody at Teterboro airport in New Jersey earlier today after flying into the U.S. on an overseas flight.
Separately, a senior law enforcement official briefed on the case says that Epstein is expected to face two federal charges for "dozens" of victims.
The official says, Epstein allegedly paid minors cash for massages and then sex acts. He would then allegedly pay those alleged victims even more money to bring him their friends/others who he would also allegedly pay for acts.
The official says that some victims are as young as 14 years old.
These acts allegedly occurred at his Upper East Side and Palm Beach, Florida homes.
Multiple people briefed on the matter say that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York's public corruption unit is prosecuting the case.
The Daily Beast first reported the hedge fund manager's arrest.
Epstein came under renewed scrutiny after his lawyer made a secret deal with prosecutors in 2008 that allowed him to plead guilty to lesser charges after federal authorities pursued him for allegedly having sex with multiple underage victims.
Epstein, who was friends with the likes of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, wound up pleading guilty in 2008 to state charges of soliciting a single underage victim after federal prosecutors agreed to shelve their case and not prosecute him or his enablers.
Former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who is now President Donald Trump's labor secretary, helped to put the deal together. In the face of intense criticism, Acosta has defended the plea deal as appropriate under the circumstances, The Associated Press reported.
Acosta's office also agreed not to tell the victims about the nonprosecution agreement.
In February U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra said in a 33-three page ruling that prosecutors violated the victims' rights by not informing them of the deal.
On Saturday Paul G. Cassell, attorney for four of Epstein's accusers, said in a statement that his arrest "proves that Epstein should have been charged by federal prosecutors twelve years ago in Florida."
"With his money, Epstein was able to buy more than a decade of delay in facing justice — but fortunately he wasn’t able to postpone justice forever," Cassell said.
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, who's chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, welcomed news of Epstein's arrest.
"Jeffrey Epstein has evaded justice for too long," he said in a statement. "This child rapist belongs in prison and should not be allowed to post bail and hurt more girls."