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Alleged victims urge no bail for Epstein

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 15, 2019 - Duration: 02:08s

Alleged victims urge no bail for Epstein

Two women who say they are victims of sexual misconduct by American financier Jeffrey Epstein on Monday urged a U.S. judge to keep him in jail while he awaits trial on charges of sex trafficking dozens of underage girls.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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Alleged victims urge no bail for Epstein

A Manhattan federal court on Monday heard arguments on whether American financier Jeffrey Epstein should remain in jail while awaiting trial - or be allowed to live under house arrest at his 77 million dollar mansion on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Prosecutors and lawyers representing the victims said that Epstein -- charged with sex trafficking underage girls -- posed an "extraordinary risk of flight" and danger to the community and must remain in jail until his trial.

Epstein was arrested last week at New Jersey's Teterboro Airport after returning from Paris on his private plane.

He is accused of arranging for girls under the age of 18 to perform nude "massages" and other sex acts, and of paying some girls to recruit others, from at least 2002 to 2005.

But Epstein has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges.

The 66-year old -- who hobnobbed with Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton -- is now being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a fortress-like jail that has been criticized by inmates and lawyers for harsh conditions.

At Monday's bail hearing, a prosecutor told the judge that a search of Epstein's home uncovered a foreign passport and a stash of cash in a locked safe.

Lawyers for 2 alleged victims said their clients also spoke out on why Epstein should be denied bail... (SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTORNEY REPRESENTING JEFFREY EPSTEIN ACCUSERS MICHELLE LICATA AND COURTNEY WILD, BRADLEY EDWARDS, SAYING: "If this decision comes down to the wire and it's a close call, she at least wants her voice to be heard and for the judge to hear from her that there is a real danger presented." Lawyers for Epstein said their client has had an unblemished record since he pleaded guilty more than a decade ago to a state prostitution charge in Florida.

Critics have called that deal, which let Epstein avoid federal prosecution, too lenient.

Alex Acosta, who as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida oversaw Epstein's earlier deal, resigned on Friday as Trump's Secretary of Labor, saying he did not want to be a distraction for the White House.

A bail decision is expected on Thursday.

If convicted, Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison.

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