Florida billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of Bill Clinton, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking underage girls.
The charges stem from accusations of sex trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005, paying them cash for massages and then sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach, according to The Daily Beast.
Epstein was reportedly taken into custody by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force in New York after arriving from an overseas flight and is set to appear in court on Monday.
BREAKING / NBC NEWS: Four sources with direct knowledge of the matter say that Jeffrey Epstein was taken into custody today in New York after arriving from an overseas flight.
He faces federal sex trafficking charges.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) July 7, 2019
Plagued over the years by sexual abuse claims against minors, Fox News reported that Epstein received a lenient plea deal in 2008 for charges of paying teen girls for sexual massages — the Miami Herald reported as many as 60 women said they were victims.
The controversial deal included Epstein being sentenced to 13 months in prison, when he could have faced life in prison, with Fox News noting that the financier was allowed to leave a Florida county jail six days a week to work from his office.
Epstein was also required to settle with his victims and register as a sex offender, after pleading guilty to state charges of soliciting prostitution and avoiding federal charges.
In addition to being friends with Clinton, he was acquainted with President Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, but it was the former president who was a frequent flyer on Epstein’s jet, known as the “Lolita Express.”
Fox News reported in 2016 that Clinton was on board for at least 26 trips and ditched his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights — the number being well above 11 previously reported flights.
More from Fox News on the flights:
He allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on “Orgy Island,” an estate on Epstein’s 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Virginia Roberts, 32, who claims she was pimped out by Epstein at age 15, has previously claimed she saw Clinton at Epstein’s getaway in 2002, but logs do not show Clinton aboard any flights to St. Thomas, the nearest airport capable of accommodating Epstein’s plane. They do show Clinton flying aboard Epstein’s plane to such destinations as Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, Brunei, London, New York, the Azores, Belgium, Norway, Russia and Africa.
Conchita Sarnoff, author of a book on Epstein, “TrafficKing,” and identified as being with the Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, was quoted in the 2016 article.
“Bill Clinton … associated with a man like Jeffrey Epstein, who everyone in New York, certainly within his inner circles, knew was a pedophile,” Sarnoff said. “Why would a former president associate with a man like that?”
With the president’s critics working overtime to tie him to Epstein, it’s been reported that Trump barred him from Mar-a-Lago for propositioning the underage daughter of a member.
And guess who was head of the FBI when Epstein got his lenient plea deal? None other than Robert Mueller:
Did you know:
The FBI, under Robert Mueller, let child predator Jeffrey Epstein off with a weak plea deal
Dozens of young girls accused him of assaulting them
Maybe Mueller should have gone after Epstein as hard as he went after our President
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 7, 2019
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