Posing a danger to the community

24 Jul 2019 | 03:01

A New York federal judge denied bail last week for Jeffrey Epstein, who is facing charges of sex-trafficking in Manhattan, saying he doubted any bail proposal from the defense could overcome the serious danger Epstein poses to the community.

“The government application for continued remand is hereby granted,” U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said at the start of the July 18 hearing.

The defense had proposed Epstein be released and confined to his $77 million Upper East Side mansion, but Berman said in his 33-page written decision that “Epstein’s past sexual conduct is not likely to have been abated” and that he feared for the safety of past and prospective victims.

“Mr. Epstein’s alleged excessive attraction to sexual conduct with or in the presence of minor girls — which is said to include his soliciting and receiving massages from young girls and young women perhaps as many as four times a day — appears likely to be uncontrollable,” Berman wrote.

Epstein’s legal team filed an ppeal to Berman’s decision on Monday, July 22.

According to charges in a federal indictment, Epstein, 66, “sexually abused dozens of minor girls at his homes” in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla. The document details allegations that Epstein used some of the victims to recruit other girls, paying these recruiters several hundred dollars for each girl they brought to him.

Epstein, wearing a navy blue jumpsuit, walked into the packed court room Thursday with his legal team without showing much expression on his face. He sat looking straight ahead as Berman announced that Epstein would be denied bail.

Missing Check-InsWhen deciding on the bail proposal, Berman said he considered the “poignant” testimony of two women — Annie Farmer and Courtney Wild — who, in a hearing earlier last week, said Epstein had abused them. In tandem with their testimony, he cited that Epstein had missed required sex offender check-ins and pointed to “sexually explicit photos” of what appeared to be underage girls that were recovered from Epstein’s home after his July 6 arrest in New Jersey.

Additionally, Berman agreed with prosecutors that Epstein’s wealth and resources — including private planes and residences in Paris and the Caribbean — made him a flight risk. Investigators also found $70,000 in cash, dozens of diamonds and an expired Austria passport that used Epstein’s photo but a different name.

Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and is being held in Metropolitan Correctional Center. If convicted, Epstein will face 45 years in prison.

He previously spent 13 months in the Palm Beach County Jail after making a secret — and subsequently controversial — deal with Miami federal prosecutors, led by Alexander Acosta, then the U.S. Attorney for Miami, to plead guilty to two charges of prostitution. During his time in jail, Epstein was allowed to leave the jail for 12 hours a day, six days a week to work.