Attorneys for alleged child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein said he is willing to post up to $100 million bail, but his safe suggests a flight risk.
Prosecutors and accusers alike are arguing against any bail being set for the American financier and registered sex offender, especially in light of the finding. At a detention hearing in Manhattan federal court, the prosecution told Judge Richard Berman that evidence against Epstein is “already significantly stronger, and getting stronger every single day.”
Alleged victims Courtney Wild and Annie Farmer stepped forward to make the case to Berman: “Your honor, my name is Courtney Wild and I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein at the age of 14,” Wild said. “He is a scary person to have walking the street.” Wild claims to have been abused by Epstein in Palm Beach, Florida.
“I was 16 years old when I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. Epstein here in New York,” said Farmer, only willing at this hearing to say that Epstein was “inappropriate” with her. And “we know they have found photos of young women in his home,” she added. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said that other witnesses have contacted authorities since Epstein’s indictment.
Rossmiller said that “piles of cash” and “dozens of diamonds” were found in a safe in Epstein’s Manhattan residence, as well as an expired foreign passport dating all the way back to the 1980s that has Epstein’s photograph — but with a different name and a stated residence of Saudi Arabia. These findings follow the discovery of a trove of pictures of young-looking girls, according to prosecutors. At least one of them is among the accusers.
Defense argued that Epstein’s wealth was overstated and that he should be released to confinement in his Upper East Side townhouse. Prosecutors were not having it. “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.”
Rossmiller also cited Epstein’s mysterious gifts to two possible “Lolita Express” co-conspirators, which Epstein’s defense attempted to frame as a simple act of generosity. Rossmiller argued that “the idea that Mr. Epstein was feeling particularly generous to his former colleagues” days after the now-infamous Miami Herald exposé was published is “just not credible.”
“He has every incentive to flee if he is released,” he said.