Jeffrey Epstein willing to post $100 million bail — ‘He’s a scary person,’ accuser says
Monday - 15/07/2019 17:46
Accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is willing to post bail as high as $100 million, his lawyer said Monday at a detention hearing for the former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
Accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is willing to post bail as high as $100 million, his lawyer said Monday, as a prosecutor argued that the case against the wealthy investor is “already significantly stronger and getting stronger every single day.”
Two accusers of Epstein also urged Judge Richard Berman at a detention hearing in Manhattan federal court to keep him locked up without bail, as prosecutors also are arguing.
Berman said he will wait until Thursday morning to decide whether to grant Epstein bail.
“Your honor, my name is Courtney Wild and I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein at the age of 14,” one of the accusers told Berman. “He is a scary person to have walking the street.” Wild said she was abused by Epstein in Palm Beach, Florida.
The other accuser, Annie Farmer, told Berman, “I was 16 years old when I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. Epstein here in New York.”
“I want to voice my support” that Epstein not get bail, Farmer said. She said Epstein “was inappropriate with me,” but declined to provide further details in court.
“We know they have found photos of young women in his home,” Farmer noted, referring to what prosecutors have said was a “vast trove” of lewd photos of young women or girls that investigators discovered in Epstein’s New York residence.
Before the accusers spoke, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said that a number of other witnesses contacted authorities after Epstein was recently indicted, and that prosecutors are trying to corroborate their allegations against him.
Rossmiller also revealed that investigators found in Epstein’s $77 million Manhattan townhouse a locked safe containing “piles of cash” and “dozens of diamonds,” as well as an expired passport dating to the 1980s from another country that has Epstein’s photograph on it — but with a different name and a stated residence of Saudi Arabia.
Rossmiller also said that “many, many photographs” of young-looking girls were found in the safe, and that the prosecutors have identified at least one person among them who claims to be a victim of Epstein’s.
Epstein’s lawyer told a judge that he was authorized by Epstein to agree to whatever bail conditions the judge sets, even if he sets bail at a whopping $100 million.
The lawyer, Martin Weinberg, said that contrary to numerous media accounts, Epstein is not a billionaire.
Rossmiller fought back against a call by Epstein’s lawyers that he be released on bail and then confined, with few exceptions, to the Upper East Side townhouse, with round-the-clock monitoring by security paid for by Epstein, as well as an electronic tracking device.
“What the defendant is asking for here is special treatment, to build his own jail, to be limited in his own gilded cage,” Rossmiller said. “A person who needs these conditions should be detained.”
Prosecutors have said Epstein — a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton — sexually exploited dozens of underage girls from 2002 through 2005 at his townhouse and Florida mansion.
Some of the girls were as young as 14, according to prosecutors, who say Epstein sexually abused them after luring them into his homes on the pretext of giving him massages, and then paid them cash.
Rossmiller, arguing that Epstein should not get bail, said his “dangerousness” to the public included his prior efforts at “witness tampering.”
Rossmiller said that in addition to prosecutors, the federal office of pretrial services believes Epstein should be detained without bail.
And he noted that there is a presumption that a defendant charged with sex trafficking should be denied bail.