Jeffrey Epstein made payments to two potential witnesses in an attempt to silence them in the child sex trafficking case against him last year, according to US prosecutors
In a Friday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors said Epstein wired a total of $350,000 to the two individuals.
The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan made the new allegations in a court filing asking that Epstein be denied bail while awaiting trial. They say the payments are evidence that he might try to influence witnesses if he were not detained or that he would use his wealth to flee the country.
In a court filing the day before Epstein had asked to be allowed to await trial under house arrest in his Manhattan mansion.
Press TV reports: In their court filing, prosecutors labeled Epstein a “serial sexual predator” and argued he should remain behind bars until his trial.
“This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging evaluations,” prosecutors said.
Epstein, 66, was arrested on July 6 in New Jersey and was charged Monday in New York with sex trafficking of minors. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
According to prosecutors, Epstein sexually exploited dozens of girls under the age of 18, some as young as 14, at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005.
He allegedly arranged for girls under the age of 18 to perform nude “massages” and other sex acts for him, and paid some girls to recruit others, from at least 2002 to 2005.
US Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned on Friday amid a backlash over his handling of the sex abuse case against Epstein, becoming President Donald Trump’s latest adviser to leave the administration in controversy.
Acosta was the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 2005 through 2009. It was there that he handled Epstein’s first case involving sex with girls, which resulted in Epstein being sentenced to just 13 months in a county jail, a punishment that critics say was far too lenient.