Prosecutors Will Seek to Keep Jeffrey Epstein in Jail on Sex Trafficking Charges: Lawyers

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 8, 2019US News
Prosecutors Will Seek to Keep Jeffrey Epstein in Jail on Sex Trafficking Charges: Lawyers
Jeffrey Epstein is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla., on July 30, 2008. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP)

Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein could spend months in jail as the case against him works its way through courts, a defense lawyer said.

Prosecutors will attempt to convince a judge on July 8 to deny Epstein bond, New York defense lawyer Marvyn Kornberg, who is not involved in the case, told Bloomberg. Prosecutors will likely point to Epstein’s wealth and warn the judge he could flee the United States.

“With the money he’s got, he could go anywhere in the world,” Kornberg said. “Keeping someone in custody is a tactic. It’s a psychological tool to get a defendant to plead out.”

“With his resources and with the potential jail time he faces,” the argument for keeping Epstein locked up is strengthened, added Bruce Maffeo, a former federal prosecutor in New York who is now an attorney at Cozen O’Connor.

mugshot of child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein in a file booking photograph. (Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department)

Defense lawyers for Epstein could point to the plea deal they reached with prosecutors in 2008 that saw Epstein admit to two counts of soliciting a prostitute and serve 13 months in prison in exchange for giving undisclosed information to the authorities.

“The defense argument could be that they fought this case to a plea years ago and it’s only with rekindled interest that’s prompted these latest charges,” Maffeo, who also isn’t involved in the case, told Bloomberg. “They could say that he wouldn’t flee the country.”

Another former federal prosecutor said there’s almost no chance Epstein will be allowed to go home after the hearing.

Under federal court rules, prosecutors can keep a defendant locked up for three extra days while preparing for a bail hearing without needing a reason. If that happens in Epstein’s case, it would mean a bail hearing on Thursday.

“The government is clearly seeking to have him detained,” ex-prosecutor David Weinstein told the Associated Press. “The guy is a millionaire or a billionaire. He has unrestrained assets. If they let him out on a bond, he may take off, go to a jurisdiction where they don’t have extradition and they may never get him back.”

An unnamed source told the Miami Herald that Epstein would vanish if he was granted bail.

“That bail hearing will be critical because if they grant him bail, he has enough money that he will disappear and they will never get him,’’ a source in New York told the Herald.

A probe by the Herald found that nearly 80 girls have been molested by Epstein.

NTD Photo
A residence of financier Jeffrey Epstein is shown in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 14, 2014. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

Epstein, 66, owns a number of houses, including one in Paris and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Investigators said previously that he sexually abused dozens of girls, who were mostly under 17 years old. The new charges showed evidence that Epstein was running an operation with several assistants that recruited underage girls for sex trafficking.

The documents were published online on July 8.

The charges stated that from 2002 up to at least or about 2005, Epstein “caused to be enticed and recruited minor girls to visit his mansion in Manhattan, New York and his estate in Palm Beach, Florida to engage in sex acts with him, after which he would give the victims hundreds of dollars in cash.”

“Moreover, and in order to maintain and increase his supply of victims, Epstein also paid certain of his victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused,” authorities wrote.

The indictment said that the girls were as young as 14 and Epstein was aware some of them were underage because they directly told him.

Epstein was arrested on July 6 at an airport near New York City after his private jet touched down from France.

A task force of federal agents and New York City police officers met the plane at Teterboro Airport and took Epstein into custody, law enforcement officials told the Associated Press. He was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal jail near the Manhattan courthouse where he was due to appear on Monday.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.