Multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein pleaded not guilty Monday after he was indicted on charges that he operated a sex trafficking ring in which he sexually abused dozens of underage girls.
We're wrapping up our live coverage, but in case you missed it, here are what you need to know about today's hearing:
- The arrest: Epstein, 66, was arrested Saturday night at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey aboard his private jet upon returning from Paris. Later that evening, federal agents executed a search warrant of Epstein's mansion in New York City and seized a "vast trove" of lewd photographs of young-looking women or girls, prosecutors said in a bail memorandum.
- The charges: He is charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted of the charges, which carry no mandatory minimum sentences.
- The indictment: According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2005, Epstein ran a trafficking enterprise in which he paid hundreds of dollars in cash to girls as young as 14 to have sex with him at his Upper East Side home and his estate in Palm Beach, worked with employees and associates to lure the girls to his residences and paid some of his victims to recruit other girls for him to abuse.
- What prosecutors said: Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement that, "In this way, Epstein created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit, often on a daily basis."
- What Epstein's attorney said: Reid Weingarten said the indictment was "essentially a do-over" of the Florida investigation. In that investigation, Epstein previously evaded similar charges when he secured a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in Miami. Instead of facing federal charges, Epstein pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges in 2008 and served just 13 months in prison. He also registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to the victims identified by the FBI.
- What's next: Epstein's bail hearing is set for July 15.