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Florida billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of Bill Clinton, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking underage girls.
Epstein is expected to appear in court Monday after being charged with one count of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, which could put him in prison for a maximum of 45 years, The Daily Beast reported.
The arrest comes more than a decade after Epstein accepted a plea deal to avoid federal charges. It also comes just three days after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of unsealing documents in a lawsuit against Epstein.
The suit, filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a one-time masseuse for Epstein, accuses Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s associate, for allegedly hiring then-15-year-old Giuffre to give Epstein sexual massages at his Palm Beach property.
“It’s been a long time coming — it’s been too long coming,” attorney David Boies, who represents Giuffre and another accuser, told The Daily Beast. “It is an important step towards getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise. … We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible.”
The infamous billionaire attracted media attention after he was hit with accusations of paying dozens of underaged girls — some as young as 14 — for sexual massages in Florida or his Upper East Side mansion between 1999 and 2005, according to The New York Times Saturday.
Court records show that in a 2007 interview, one of the victims said she gave Epstein massages in her underwear and nude for $200 each at the age of 15.
Jack Scarola, a lawyer for two of the women involved in the case, told The NYT that he had not been briefed on the arrest.
“But given his extensive pattern of past criminal conduct and the apparent addictive nature of his aberrant behavior, an arrest comes as no surprise,” Scarola said.
Fox News reported in 2016 that Clinton was on board for at least 26 trips and ditched his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights — the number being well above 11 previously reported flights.
More from Fox News on the flights:
He allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on “Orgy Island,” an estate on Epstein’s 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Virginia Roberts, 32, who claims she was pimped out by Epstein at age 15, has previously claimed she saw Clinton at Epstein’s getaway in 2002, but logs do not show Clinton aboard any flights to St. Thomas, the nearest airport capable of accommodating Epstein’s plane. They do show Clinton flying aboard Epstein’s plane to such destinations as Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, Brunei, London, New York, the Azores, Belgium, Norway, Russia and Africa.
Conchita Sarnoff, author of a book on Epstein, “TrafficKing,” and identified as being with the Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, was quoted in the 2016 article.
“Bill Clinton … associated with a man like Jeffrey Epstein, who everyone in New York, certainly within his inner circles, knew was a pedophile,” Sarnoff said. “Why would a former president associate with a man like that?”