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Multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking

In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, is shown in custody in West Palm Beach. The wealthy financier and convicted sex offender has been arrested in New York on sex trafficking charges. [Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File]
In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, is shown in custody in West Palm Beach. The wealthy financier and convicted sex offender has been arrested in New York on sex trafficking charges. [Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File]
Published Jul. 8, 2019

NEW YORK — Multimillionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein couldn't dodge justice forever.

Jeffrey Epstein was charged Monday with sex trafficking and conspiracy of underage girls between 2002 to 2005 at his Upper East Side mansion and Palm Beach estate.

The bombshell 14-page indictment against the hedge funder comes 11 years after he received a slap on the wrist for similar charges.

Epstein "enticed and recruited" minor girls to engage in sex acts with him, "after which he would give the minor girls hundreds of dollars in cash," the indictment charged.

"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."

The Epstein case has been the subject of wild rumors for years because of his famous friends. Epstein once palled around with the likes of President Trump, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.

In 2008 then-Southern Florida US Attorney Alex Acosta allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution. The sweet deal meant he served 13 months in Palm Beach County Jail and was allowed to leave for work.

Epstein's alleged victims were outraged that they were kept in the dark. They said many of them were underage when Epstein recruited them as masseuses to work in his homes in the Upper East Side, in the Caribbean and Palm Beach. He sexually assaulted them and then enticed them to recruit younger victims as they became older than the sicko preferred, Epstein's alleged victims said.

Civil lawsuits filed by Epstein's accusers highlighted an unusually cozy relationship between his high-powered legal team and Acosta's prosecutors.

Earlier this year, a federal judge in Miami ruled that Acosta had violated a law protecting crime victims by not notifying them of Epstein's plea deal.

The Department of Justice investigated Acosta's handling of the case but determined that Epstein's plea deal could not be vacated.

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