Epstein Child Sex Trafficking Case Triggers Resignation of U.S. Secretary of Labor

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Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for sex trafficking charges.

Epstein is accused of having sex with girls as young as age 14, paying them hundreds of dollars each for encounters at his properties in Manhattan and Palm Beach. On the day of his arrest, FBI agents searched his Manhattan townhouse and found hundreds of sexually suggestive photographs of females – some have been confirmed as being underage. Also found were CDs labeled as containing nude girls’ pictures.

The official charges as brought by prosecutors with the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York are one count each of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. Sex trafficking is illegally transporting people from one country (or area) to another for sexual exploitation. If found guilty, Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison.

Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Epstein’s Florida Deal in 2008 Helped Him Avoid More Serious Charges

Epstein was arrested in 2008 by Palm Beach police for crimes tied to his sexual behavior with underage females. At the time, investigators interviewed 5 alleged victims of sexual abuse and 17 witnesses. The girls allegedly were brought to his home for massages, and then the encounters turned sexual.

However, Epstein made a non-prosecution agreement with prosecutors and avoided more serious charges that may have come with a potential life sentence.  He eventually served about a year in jail – most of it in work release – and registered as a sex offender.

The Florida deal, which many criticize as too lenient, was agreed to by Alexander Acosta, then U.S. Attorney in Miami. Epstein’s most recent arrest precipitated Acosta’s resignation from his position as U.S. Secretary of Labor.

At the time of this writing, a Florida judge is evaluating whether that non-prosecution deal will still stand. Epstein is in jail without bail.

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