- Court documents unsealed Monday reveal the extent of the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein, whom federal prosecutors have charged with running a sex-trafficking operation from at least 2002 to 2005.
- Prosecutors allege that girls as young as 14 were victimized.
- Epstein, a financier who “collected” famous friends like President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton, is set to appear in court in New York City later Monday.
- Charges against Epstein are one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, which carries a maximum sentence of 45 years.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Federal prosecutors unsealed court documents on Monday that charge the financier Jeffrey Epstein with sex trafficking and conspiracy.
The indictment alleges that the financier molested girls as young as 14 in an operation that ran at least from 2002 to 2005, with dozens of girls said to be victimized.
If convicted of one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, Epstein would face up to 45 years in prison. In the unsealed court documents, a grand jury charged Epstein with the sexual exploitation and abuse of “dozens of minor girls” in homes he owned in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida.
The documents accuse Epstein and at least three of his employees of knowingly enticing and recruiting minor girls in Palm Beach and in Manhattan to visit Epstein’s homes to engage in sex acts with him, “after which,” the documents said, “he would give the victims hundreds of dollars in cash.”
Prosecutors allege Epstein had a ‘vast network’ to ‘increase his supply of victims’
Additionally, the documents allege that Epstein would pay some underage girls to entice others, creating what the documents called a “vast network” meant to “maintain and increase his supply of victims” in a manner similar to that of a pyramid scheme. The indictment said victims included girls as young as 14 who it said were “often particularly vulnerable to exploitation.”
The documents went on to accuse the financier of knowingly and intentionally seeking out minor girls, alleging that victims “expressly” told him their age. Victims would be recruited to provide “‘massages'” to Epstein that “would be performed nude or partially nude, would become increasingly sexual in nature, and would typically include one or more sex acts,” the indictment said.
The indictment said the sex acts included “groping and direct and indirect contact with the victim’s genitals” during which Epstein would sometimes “ask victims to touch him while he masturbated” and “touch victims’ genitals with his hands or with sex toys.”
The documents accuse Epstein of directing employees and associates to entice, recruit, contact, and pay underage victims. The indictment named one New York-based employee as “Employee-1” and two assistants as “Employee-2” and “Employee-3,” who it said were also responsible for scheduling appointments with victims at Epstein’s New York City and Palm Beach residences.
The documents detail encounters between three victims, who were minors when they were said to be abused, and the three employees of Epstein, that include telephone calls placed to schedule appointments at Epstein’s residences as well as instructions to recruit other minors for sexual acts. Epstein is also charged with transporting and harboring victims in acts of sex trafficking.
The documents include a forfeiture request for Epstein’s residence in Manhattan’s Upper East Side where they said the abuse took place along with “its buildings, appurtenances, improvements, fixtures, attachments, and easements.”
Epstein was connected to Trump and Clinton
Epstein, a financier with a mysterious past, has been linked to influential figures including President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton. Epstein valued his “collection” of an elite social circle.
Miami authorities first began to investigate him over similar allegations in 2005, but Epstein signed a secret plea deal in 2008 that allowed him to avoid federal prosecution. For that he served 13 months in jail, a period when he was released six days a week to work in his office. Trump’s current labour secretary, Alexander Acosta, was the lead Miami prosecutor at the time who helped reach the plea deal.
Epstein is set to appear in court in Manhattan later Monday.
- Read more
- Meet Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier reportedly arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking who’s rubbed elbows with Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Kevin Spacey
- Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein once flew Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey to Africa
- Jeffrey Epstein: Trump once praised billionaire charged with sex trafficking minors for liking women ‘on the younger side’
- Jeffrey Epstein has reportedly been arrested and charged with sex trafficking of minors
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.