Billionaire investor Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors between 2002 and 2005.
Epstein’s arrest comes after he has repeatedly been accused of committing sexual crimes against minors and was given the deal of a lifetime in 2008 when he pled guilty to state charges of “one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor under the age of 18,” according to the Miami Herald.
“The new indictment—which, according to two sources, will be unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court—will reportedly allege that Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for ‘massages’ and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach,” the Daily Beast reported. “Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors—which could put him away for a maximum of 45 years. The case is being handled by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the district’s human-trafficking officials and the FBI.”
CNN reported that “Maurene Comey, the daughter of former FBI director James Comey, is one of the prosecutors.”
Criminal defense lawyer Gene Rossi told Law&Crime that it was “extremely bad news” for Epstein that the case was being handled by the Southern District of New York’s Public Corruption Unit because “they don’t play nice.”
The Southern District of New York describes the Public Corruption Unit as a unit that “oversees the investigation and prosecution of corruption crimes committed by elected and appointed officials, government employees, and individuals and companies doing business with the city, state, and federal government.”
The types of crimes that the unit investigates include “bribery, embezzlement, and frauds committed against local, state, and federal government agencies.”
A 2018 report from the Miami Herald revealed the VIP treatment that Epstein received from prosecutors:
Unlike other convicted sex offenders, Epstein didn’t face the kind of rough justice that child sex offenders do in Florida state prisons. Instead of being sent to state prison, Epstein was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail. And rather than having him sit in a cell most of the day, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office allowed Epstein work release privileges, which enabled him to leave the jail six days a week, for 12 hours a day, to go to a comfortable office that Epstein had set up in West Palm Beach. This was granted despite explicit sheriff’s department rules stating that sex offenders don’t qualify for work release.
Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown said on Sunday that there are “very powerful people” who are “sweating a little bit” over Epstein’s arrest because they could become suspects tied to the case.