July 12, 2019 | From the Christian Post
The arrest of billionaire and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges is fueling speculation that many powerful, wealthy people are likely to be exposed or implicated.
Epstein returned from a trip to Europe Saturday, was arrested at a New Jersey airport, and was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is known for its dogged pursuit of high-profile cases.
The 66-year-old financial manager was charged with child sex trafficking in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591, in connection with allegations that he recruited young girls to exploit at his homes in Palm Beach, Florida, and New York City.
Epstein maintains all his accusers engaged in consensual sexual activity with him and that he thought they were all of legal age at the time. He pleaded not guilty Monday on one count of sex-trafficking and another count of sex-trafficking conspiracy.
Epstein was charged Monday with sexually abusing dozens of minor girls over 10 years after he was charged and convicted in Florida of similar crimes but was given a deal to evade federal prosecution. The new charges were brought in Manhattan.
“The news of my abuser’s arrest today is a step in the right direction to finally hold Epstein accountable for his crimes and restore my faith that power and money can’t triumph over justice,” said Sarah Ransome, who claims she was recruited and trafficked for sex by Epstein in 2006 and 2007.
Epstein has been ordered to remain in jail until Monday, when his bail hearing will occur. Because of his sizable wealth and access to private planes, he is considered to be a flight risk among New York law enforcement.
The latest indictment claims the billionaire financial manager knew that some of the girls he allegedly abused were only 14. Prosecutors say that in other instances he used victims to recruit other girls to expand his network of abuse. . . .
In 2008, the Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, who was then the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, approved a secret plea deal that allowed Epstein to not be charged at the federal level for sex crimes. Federal charges had been considered based on reports that he had bought girls for sex across state lines.
In light of the latest allegations, calls for his resignation from his current post have been mounting from prominent Democrats. Speaking from the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer demanded Acosta step down.
“It is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Secretary Acosta’s ability to lead the Department of Labor. If he refuses to resign, President Trump should fire him,” Schumer said. . . .
Yet Tuesday, the labor secretary defended his actions and noted the new evidence in the latest charges.
“The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence,” Acosta tweeted Tuesday. . .
Because Epstein is connected to the wealthy and powerful and is said to have operated a sex trafficking ring, many are wondering who will be exposed next or implicated. (Excerpt from the Christian Post, reporting by Brandon Showalter.)