The American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday and accused of sex trade. Epstein will be brought to court on Monday.
Epstein, now 66, was taken to court in 2007 on suspicion of sex trafficking of underage girls. According to police investigations, Epstein had a massage by the young victims, but the massages often ended in masturbation, oral sex or rape. He had the minor victims – some not older than 14 or 15 – fly to his villa in Palm Beach in Florida.
The case was echoed in the media, as Epstein was able to count his former friends Bill Clinton, current President Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, among others.
But in 2007, Epstein made a ‘plea deal’ (a settlement) with federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who is now also Minister of Work in the Trump government. Epstein confessed two charges for prostitution in exchange for 13 months in prison. He was never convicted for trafficking in women and thus escaped a possible life sentence. The deal was fiercely criticized for being very generous to Epstein.
In February 2019, the Ministry of Justice announced that it is investigating the settlement in 2007. The Ministry is investigating whether the public prosecutor then made mistakes.
Also in February, a Florida judge ruled that prosecutors were legally obliged to inform victims of the settlement, which only happened after Epstein was released.
The prosecutors in Manhattan are not yet making any further comments.