Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking

Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein has been charged with sex trafficking.

The hedge fund manager was also charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy.

Epstein, 66, was arrested on Saturday in New York on charges relating to claims dating back to the 2000s.

The charges faced by the American, who once counted Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew among his friends, relate to underage girls.

It is alleged Epstein abused the children in his Palm Beach mansion in Florida.

His lawyer said Epstein intends to plead not guilty.

In court documents, Epstein maintained that any sexual contact was consensual and that he believed the girls were 18 at the time.

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In 2007, he struck a deal which saw him plead guilty to a lesser Florida state felony prostitution charge when he was accused of sexually abusing dozens of girls as young as 14 from 1999. The allegations claimed he directed others to abuse them and paid employees to bring victims to him.

He served a 13-month sentence in county jail, during which he was allowed to leave during the day to go to his office.

Earlier this year, a judge ruled the deal violated the law, although last month the US Department of Justice said there was no reason to cancel the agreement.

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Source: SKY NEWS

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