by Audrey Conklin
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors Saturday after his private jet landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
Epstein is expected to appear in court Monday after being charged with one count of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, which could put him in prison for a maximum of 45 years, The Daily Beast reported.
The arrest comes more than a decade after Epstein accepted a plea deal to avoid federal charges. It also comes just three days after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of unsealing documents in a lawsuit against Epstein, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported June 3.
The suit, filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a one-time masseuse for Epstein, accuses Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s associate, for allegedly hiring then-15-year-old Giuffre to give Epstein sexual massages at his Palm Beach property.
“It’s been a long time coming — it’s been too long coming,” attorney David Boies, who represents Giuffre and another accuser, told The Daily Beast. “It is an important step towards getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise. … We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible.”
The infamous billionaire attracted media attention after he was hit with accusations of paying dozens of underaged girls — some as young as 14 — for sexual massages in Florida or his Upper East Side mansion between 1999 and 2005, according to The New York Times Saturday.
Court records show that in a 2007 interview, one of the victims said she gave Epstein massages in her underwear and nude for $200 each at the age of 15.
“But given his extensive pattern of past criminal conduct and the apparent addictive nature of his aberrant behavior, an arrest comes as no surprise,” Scarola said.
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