Deemed dangerous, Epstein denied bail in sex abuse case
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge who denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges Thursday said he poses a danger to the public and seems to still have an uncontrollable urge for sexual conduct with or in the presence of underage girls.
Epstein, 66, also might use his “great wealth and vast resources” to flee the country, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said.
Epstein, his hands folded before him, showed no reaction when Berman announced his fate in the morning. Epstein’s lawyers did not comment.
“I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community,” Berman said in court, citing a danger for both the “minor victims in this case and prospective victims as well.”
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges.
In the written ruling released hours later, Berman cited the discovery in Epstein’s mansion after his July 6 arrest of a trove of sexually suggestive photographs of nude underage and adult females.
“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 said.
“Accordingly, Mr. Epstein’s past sexual conduct is not likely to have abated or been successfully suppressed by fierce determination, as his Defense Counsel suggests,” he added.
Lawyers for Epstein had argued their client has stayed clean since pleading guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution charges in Florida in 2008 in a deal that allowed him to avoid federal prosecution.