A notorious friend of President Donald Trump has reportedly been arrested.
“Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday, according to three law enforcement sources,” The Daily Beast reported Saturday. “The arrest comes about 12 years after the 66-year-old financier essentially got a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida.”
“The new charges allege that Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for “massages” and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach. Several employees and associates allegedly recruited the girls for Epstein’s abuse, and some victims eventually became recruiters themselves, according to law enforcement. The girls were as young as 14, and Epstein knew they were underage, according to police,” The Beast reported.
Epstein is a longtime friend of Trump’s.
Prominent Donald Trump defender Alan Dershowitz has also been implicated in the scandal but has denied the accusations.
Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, has been accused for violating federal law when he negotiated a plea deal for Epstein without notifying the victims.
“In an era where #MeToo has toppled powerful men, Epstein’s name was largely absent from the national conversation, until the Miami Herald published a three-part series on how his wealth, power and influence shielded him from federal prosecution,” The Beast noted. “Meanwhile, the financier has flitted among his homes in Palm Beach, New York City, and the Virgin Islands, as well as his secluded Zorro Ranch in Stanley, New Mexico, transporting young women on his private jet to facilitate the sexual abuse that’s gone unchecked by authorities, his alleged victims say.”
The arrest was confirmed by The New York Times later on Saturday evening.
“The case is being handled by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the district’s human-trafficking officials and the FBI,” The Beast reported.
Yashar Ali of New York magazine Huffington Post journalist spoke with a former prosecutor about the timing of the case.
“A former federal prosecutor texts how unusual it was that Epstein was arrested on a Saturday. But noted that the feds like to take advantage of airport departures and arrivals for arrests. Epstein landed in NYC on an international flight today and was taken into custody,” Ali reported.
“The same former federal prosecutor made note of this detail in the The Daily Beast scoop: that this case has been overseen by the public corruption unit in the SDNY office. Highly unusual for a sex trafficking case to be handled by PCU,” he continued, with a chin-scratching emoji.
“Also they note that the fact that the indictment won’t be unsealed until Monday is also unusual and COULD indicate that there’s a second defendant in this case,” he added.
One former prosecutor told New York magazine’s Yashar Ali that the facts that the case is being handled by the Public Corruption Unit and the indictment is sealed means there could be a second defendant in the case.
Tim O’Brien, the author of the 2005 biography TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, recalled what Trump said about his friend Epstein in 2002.
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years,” Trump admitted. “Terrific guy.”
“He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side,” Trump revealed.