Prosecutors investigating others in Jeffrey Epstein sex traffic case

Prosecutors investigating others in Jeffrey Epstein sex traffic case

Courtroom sketch showing Jeffrey Epstein at his bail hearing in New York on July 15th, 2019.

Artist: Christine Cornell

Federal prosecutors in New York who have lodged child sex trafficking charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein are investigating other “uncharged individuals,” a new court filing says.

Prosecutors made that disclosure as part of a request to the judge in Epstein’s case to order all parties in the case, including Epstein and his defense team, to not publicly disclose any information turned over by prosecutors to the defense as the case heads to trial.

So far, Epstein is the only person charged in his case.

However, prosecutors earlier this month said that Epstein — who is a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton — worked and conspired with employees, associates and others “who facilitated his conduct by, among other things, contacting victims and scheduling their sexual encounters with Epstein.”

Prosecutors have said that Epstein paid $350,000 to two potential witnesses in his case days after an explosive report about him was published by The Miami Herald in late 2018.

In their filing on Thursday night in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, prosecutors said that “certain documents and materials” that they give to Epstein’s team “would impede, if prematurely disclosed, the Government’s ongoing investigation of uncharged individuals.”

The filing also says that disclosure of such information “would risk prejudicial pretrial publicity,” and “affect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals.”

Prosecutors as a rule share information about evidence with a defendant’s lawyers in a process known as discovery.

Judge Richard Berman approved the prosecution’s request, which was not opposed by Epstein’s lawyers, shortly after it was filed.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors have subpoenaed longtime Epstein’s longtime personal pilots. The newspapers said it is not known what information is being sought by the subpoenas, which were issued by a grand jury, or how many pilots received the demands for information.

Epstein was arrested July 6 at Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey, after he was flown there on one of his private jets from Paris.

The Journal reported that the subpoenas could be used to corroborate allegations from women who have accused Epstein of sexual abuse, or to detail Epstein’s travel history and associations.

The defunct news site Gawker in 2015 published flight logs for one of Epstein’s private jets. The logs showed that Clinton had taken more than a dozen trips on the plane with Ghislaine Maxwell, a close friend of Epstein, as did Epstein’s former attorney Alan Dershowitz.

One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre, in court filings alleged that Maxwell participated in her abuse by Epstein when Giuffre was just 16 years old. Maxwell has denied Giuffre’s claim.

A spokesman for prosecutors had no comment on the filing or on the subpoenas.

A lawyer for Epstein did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors have said that Epstein from 2002 through 2005 sexually abused dozens of underage girls — some as young as 14 years old — at luxurious residences he owns on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and in Palm Beach, Florida. The girls originally had contact with him under the pretext of giving him massages, authorities say.

“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 by Epstein,” the indictment against him alleges.

Epstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty in the case. He is being held without bail in a federal jail in lower Manhattan.

Berman last week denied Epstein’s request to be released on a bond of upwards of $100 million. Berman cited Epstein’s potential danger to “new victims” if he was released, noting his apparently “uncontrollable” sexual fixation on young girls. Berman also pointed to the risk that Epstein would use his vast wealth to flee.

Epstein, who is appealing Berman’s bail denial, on Tuesday was found injured in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Sources told NBC News that Epstein was semi-conscious and had marks on his neck with he was discovered in a fetal position on the floor of his cell. Authorities are trying to determine if Epstein tried to commit suicide, staged a suicide bid, or was attacked by another inmate in the jail.

He was put on suicide watch after the incident.

Epstein is a registered sex offender due to his guilty plea in 2008 to prostitution-related charges involving an underage girl. That case was lodged by state prosecutors in Florida. Epstein served 13 months in custody in that case, but routinely spent hours each day out of jail on work release.

Epstein cut a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in Florida in connection with the same kind of conduct that is alleged in the new case pending in federal court in New York. That agreement also covered Epstein’s suspected co-conspirators.

Trump’s first Labor secretary, Alex Acosta, negotiated that non-prosecution deal with Epstein’s lawyers when he was serving as the U.S. attorney in Miami. Acosta resigned as Labor secretary earlier this month after outrage over that deal.

Read the new filing by federal prosecutors here

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