Jeffrey Epstein Arrested on Sex Trafficking Charges, Reports Say

By Melanie Sun
Melanie Sun
Melanie Sun
Melanie is an Australian-based reporter and editor covering world news. She has a background in environmental research.
July 6, 2019 Updated: July 7, 2019

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was arrested in New Jersey on July 6, and is expected to be charged with sex trafficking minors and molesting dozens of underage girls, according to multiple reports.

The Miami Herald reports that Epstein is expected to be arraigned in federal court in New York on Monday on charges that he molested dozens of underage girls.

The Daily Beast, which first broke the story, reports that, based on several sources, Epstein’s yet to be unsealed indictment includes one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors.

The arrest comes months after the Department of Justice announced an internal investigation of a 2007 plea deal.

Under the plea deal, the New York billionaire served only 13 months in a Florida jail while accused of molesting more than 100 underage girls—some of them just 14 years old.

The case is reportedly being handled by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York with assistance from the FBI.

Plea Deal

Epstein’s 13-month sentence was one of the most lenient seen in U.S. history for a serial sex offender. Under the plea deal, he was afforded a work-release program that allowed him to leave the jail for 12 hours a day six days a week and work unsupervised at his downtown West Palm Beach office.

A federal judge ruled on Feb. 21 that prosecutors at the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida broke the law when arranging the plea deal, because they failed to notify Epstein’s alleged victims during plea negotiations, in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

“While the government spent untold hours negotiating the terms and implications of the non-prosecution agreement with Epstein’s attorneys, scant information was shared with victims. Instead, the victims were told to be ‘patient’ while the investigation proceeded,” the ruling stated.

Epstein allegedly operated an international child sex ring at his Palm Beach, Florida, mansion and 72-acre private island estate in the Caribbean.

He reportedly used human-trafficking recruiters to coerce young girls into his orbit, only to perform sex acts with them, along with many of his Palm Beach and island guests.

The girls were often transported from the United States to his island estate on his private jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express” in the media.

Epstein has flown numerous top politicians and business leaders to the island on his private plane. According to press reports, the plane allegedly has a bed that was used for sex with young girls. According to the same reports, flight logs from Epstein’s plane show that former President Bill Clinton flew on The Lolita Express 26 times.

Epstein was very well connected, however, many of his A-list contacts dropped him after his 2008 conviction.

Joshua Philipp contributed to this report.

Melanie Sun
Melanie is an Australian-based reporter and editor covering world news. She has a background in environmental research.