Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein Bail Decision Delayed, More Accusers Coming Forward

JACQUES DEMARTHON  AFP  Getty Images JACQUES DEMARTHON AFP Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 16 July, 2019, 18:41

Epstein, already a convicted pedophile, had hoped the jurist would rule in his favor on his bail request in his latest case Monday. That means Epstein will remain in jail until at least Thursday.

In a court filing, the lawyers said Epstein has had a "spotless 14-year record of walking the straight and narrow" since he pleaded guilty to similar offenses in Florida, and had shown "perfect compliance with onerous sex offender registration requirements". He stands accused of sexually assaulting female minors at residences in Florida and NY and faces up to 45 years in prison. According to prosecutors, also in Epstein's safe were hundreds of photos "of what appeared to be underage girls" discovered after his arrest, Fox News reported. Some were as young as 14.

Federal prosecutors maintained the well-connected Epstein, 66, is a flight risk and danger to the community _ saying he should remain incarcerated until he is tried on charges that he recruited and abused dozens of underage girls in NY and Florida in the early 2000s.

Assistant US Attorney Alex Rossmiller told the court Epstein had "piles of cash", "dozens of diamonds" and a fake foreign passport that listed his residence as Saudi Arabia when US authorities raided his NY home.

At a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said he will probably announce his decision on July 18 at 9;30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT), saying he needs more time to absorb materials that have been submitted.

Epstein will be back in court in NY on Thursday, and that is when a judge is expected to set bond. Epstein was never arrested or formally charged in New Mexico.

He served 13 months in a county jail, but was allowed to leave during the day to go to his office.

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A November 2018 Miami Herald investigation explored how Epstein used his powerhouse legal team and massive wealth to secure that agreement, which the Herald called the "deal of a lifetime".

Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned last week following renewed criticism over the 2008 plea deal with Epstein he oversaw as the US attorney in Miami.

Accuser: Courtney Wild (centre), an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, outside the NY courthouse.

They said the accusations against him are "outside the margins of federal criminal law" and don't constitute sex trafficking since there were no allegations he "trafficked anybody for commercial profit; that he forced, coerced, defrauded, or enslaved anybody".

Altogether, Epstein is publicly known to own five residential properties at various spots on the globe, including a mansion in Manhattan valued at $77 million but which he might have gotten absolutely free. Prosecutors said that a year ago he wired $350,000 to two people who were potential witnesses against him at a trial.

"This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging allegations", prosecutors said.

Farmer cited the pictures when she spoke in court, questioning whether Epstein's lawyer was accurate to say Epstein was disciplining himself. If it happened, he said, it was not authorized by Epstein.

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