US prosecutors say Epstein sought to pay off potential witnesses


from Press TV:

Jailed US billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the financier charged with child sex trafficking in a case that led to the resignation of the US labor secretary, made payments to two potential witnesses seeking to influence them in the case against him late last year, US prosecutors say.

Federal prosecutors in New York City said in a court filing Friday that they had obtained financial records showing Epstein wired $350,000 to the two co-conspirators who were not named.

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.

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