Hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking

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Multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges over the weekend, according to multiple reports.

According to The Daily Beast, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, and could face a maximum of 45 years in prison if convicted.

NBC 4 NY, citing sources, reported court documents state that Epstein allegedly had sexual encounters with dozens of underage girls at his Palm Beach, Florida residence.

Attorney Alan M. Dershowitz, the Miami Herald Co. and an independent blogger, Michael Cernovich, sought the unsealing of records in the case.

His arrest, first reported by the Daily Beast, comes almost two weeks after the Justice Department announced that it would not throw out his 2008 non-prosecution agreement, even though a federal judge ruled it was illegal.

Epstein - who is friends with President Trump and former President Bill Clinton - avoided federal criminal charges in 2007 and 2008 after agreeing to a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to states charges of soliciting prostitution and served 13 months in a Florida county and registered as a sex offender.

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This July 27, 2006 arrest file photo made available by the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, in Florida, shows Jeffrey Epstein. In court filings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified at least three dozen victims by name and referred to more than 100 other "Jane Does" who were sexually abused by Epstein, according to the Herald.

Last month, the Justice Department told the judge there was no legal basis to overturn the plea deal and rejected a request by the victims to further prosecute Epstein.

Epstein, 66, has always been alleged to having assembled what the Miami Herald has called "a large, cult-like network of underage girls - with the help of young female recruiters - to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion".

The 66-year-old financier has always been plagued by allegations of sexual abuse against minors.

It was not immediately clear if the new charges were related to the documents. Others, the three-judge panel decided, will have to be reviewed by a lower-court judge before they are released.