Jeffrey Epstein Is Accused of Luring Girls to His Manhattan Mansion and Abusing Them


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Federal prosecutors appear to have resurrected a federal sex crimes case against the billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein by focusing on accusations that he sexually assaulted girls at his mansion in Manhattan — more than a decade after a widely criticized plea deal shielded him from similar charges in Florida.

Federal prosecutors are expected to unseal the new charges on Monday accusing Mr. Epstein, 66, of running a sex-trafficking operation that lured dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, to his Upper East Side home, according to three law enforcement officials.

He was arrested on Saturday at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, after arriving on a private flight from France, two law enforcement officials said. The sex trafficking charges carry a combined maximum sentence of up to 45 years in prison.

The new charges are a revival of a yearslong case against Mr. Epstein, who faced similar accusations involving girls who told the police they were brought to his mansion in South Florida and assaulted.

Mr. Epstein is charged with using his vast network of contacts and associates to bring a constant stream of underage girls to his Manhattan townhouse, one law enforcement official said. He is accused of shuttling the girls between the townhouse and his home in Palm Beach, Fla., paying them in cash and urging them to recruit other underage girls to visit his home.

The girls were initially recruited to give him massages. But he frequently escalated the encounters into sex acts, a law enforcement source said, including groping and touching the girls’ genitals. This pattern continued from at least 2002 to 2005, the source said.

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CreditPalm Beach Sheriff’s Office, via Associated Press

On Saturday, a neighbor near an East 71st Street home purchased by Mr. Epstein in the mid-1990s, took a photograph, reviewed by The New York Times, that showed F.B.I. agents and New York Police Department officers using a crow bar to force open the mansion’s tall wooden doors.

The mansion, which runs along East 71st Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, has been called one of the largest townhouses in Manhattan. It contains at least seven floors and covers 21,000 square feet.

A spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment on Sunday. A lawyer for Mr. Epstein could not immediately be reached for comment.

Women who said they were victims of Mr. Epstein when they were girls have previously described being assaulted at the Upper East Side residence. One of his accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said in court documents that Mr. Epstein forced her to have sex with him at the mansion. She settled a separate lawsuit against Mr. Epstein in 2009.

Mr. Epstein had earlier been accused of maintaining a similar arrangement at his mansion in Palm Beach, after the parents of one of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims approached the police there in 2005. That case ballooned rapidly, according to documents reviewed by the Miami Herald: Officials soon identified at least 36 potential victims.



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