Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire money manager and convicted sex offender, was arrested in New York on federal charges of sex trafficking minors, The Daily Beast first reported Saturday night.

NBC News, the Miami Herald and The New York Times also reported on the arrest.

The 66-year-old financier stands accused of trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, according to The Daily Beast, which cited three unnamed law enforcement sources. He allegedly paid the underage victims for massages and molested and sexually abused them.

Epstein is expected to appear in federal court on Monday, NBC News reported.

The new charges, brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, are similar to charges the billionaire faced in Florida in 2008.

In the earlier case, Epstein received an unusually light sentence on lesser charges of soliciting prostitution ― just 13 months in county jail ― after police found evidence that suggested he had regularly molested dozens of underage girls in his Palm Beach, Florida, mansion and asked his victims to recruit even more girls.

The Miami Herald reported on the details of Epstein’s alleged abuses in an explosive exposé last November, accusing him of trafficking and assaulting underage girls for at least six years. In court filings, the FBI has identified at least three dozen victims by name and referred to more than 100 other “Jane Does” who were sexually abused by Epstein, according to the Herald.

But back in 2008, Epstein made a sweetheart deal ― which was approved by Alexander Acosta, then U.S. attorney in Miami ― in which he pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges, registered as a sex offender and received very little jail time. Acosta now serves as secretary of labor in the Trump administration.

Epstein’s controversial sentencing entered the spotlight again this year after a federal judge ruled that prosecutors working under Acosta broke the law by keeping that plea agreement secret from more than 30 of Epstein’s alleged victims.

Last month, the Justice Department told the judge there was no legal basis to overturn the plea deal and rejected a request by the victims to further prosecute Epstein.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

 

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