US Billionaire Accused of Sex Trafficking

Jeffrey Epstein center is shown in custody in West Palm Beach Florida

Epstein's arrest Saturday also came just days after a federal appeals court in NY ordered the unsealing of almost 2,000 pages of records in a since-settled defamation case involving Epstein.

Berman said a search had been conducted of Epstein's Manhattan mansion and agents seized "nude photographs of what appear to be underage girls".

Clinton spokesman Angel Ureña said the former president "knows nothing about the awful crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in NY".

His lawyers argue that his plea deal means he should not be prosecuted again.

"Clinton's presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein's Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including 'Tatiana, '" Fox reported at the time.

Epstein appeared before a magistrate judge on Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually abused a vast "network" of underage girls, paid them, then paid them to recruit new victims between 2002 and 2005; he now faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

The image of Mr Epstein was taken on May 18 2005.

He also allegedly paid some of his victims to recruit other girls.

In his most extensive known public comments about Epstein, Trump told NY magazine in 2002 that he'd known the financier for 15 years and praised him as a "terrific guy". In 2007, he received a sweetheart plea deal from Alexander Acosta, then U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and now the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Despite the fact that the allegations against Epstein stem from incidents that occurred more than a decade ago, Berman said, "We want to make sure [the accusers] have their day in court by bringing these charges".

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"They deserve their day in court".

In a late-Monday tweet Pelosi said: "As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice".

Separately, prosecutors appealed to other women who may potentially come forward in the case, while the hedge fund magnate issued a non-guilty plea. Epstein now faces a formal indictment.

"The news of my abuser's arrest today is a step in the right direction to finally hold Epstein accountable for his crimes and restore my faith that power and money can't triumph over justice", Sarah Ransome said through her lawyer. The Department of Labor referred questions to the Department of Justice, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also available on Getty, the caption reads: "New York Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of Radar Magazine at Hotel QT". The home, formerly a prep school, is across the street from a home owned by Bill Cosby and has been valued at approximately $77 million.

Prosecutors said they would oppose Epstein's release on bail. "The charges are very serious and carry with them a maximum sentence of 45 years, which to someone of Epstein's age is basically a life sentence", Berman said, "so we think he has every incentive to try and flee the jurisdiction".

Mr Epstein's arrest came amid increased #MeToo-era scrutiny of the 2008 non-prosecution agreement that allowed Mr Epstein to maintain his jet-set lifestyle, which includes homes in France and the US Virgin Islands.

Mr Acosta insists that his deal ensured that Epstein faced a degree of punishment.

He spent 13 months in jail and registered as a sex offender, avoiding a possible life sentence.

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