Newly unsealed court documents reveal disturbing details in the federal sex-trafficking case against billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The indictment from U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York accuse the 66-year-old of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations, between 2002 and 2005. Epstein “enticed” and “recruited” the girls to his estates, engaged in sex acts, and then paid them hundreds of dollars, the indictment alleges, characterizing the operation as a “vast network of underage victims” for Epstein to exploit.
The victims were as young as 14 years old, according to court documents, and in at least some of the instances, Epstein allegedly knew they were underage.
These aren’t the first such charges against the former hedge fund manager. A decade ago, he negotiated a secret plea deal after being accused of molesting underage girls, as New York magazine points out. Epstein was forced to register as a sex offender but served very little jail time. According to the New York Times, the plea deal was negotiated in part by Alexander Acosta, a former U.S. attorney who is now President Trump’s labor secretary.
Epstein was arrested yesterday and is due to make his first court appearance in New York City today. You can read the full unsealed indictment here.