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Jeffrey Epstein. Photo: Rick Friedman/Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy financier and registered sex offender, was charged by federal prosecutors in New York for allegedly abusing dozens of female minors at his Manhattan and Florida homes, court documents unsealed on Monday show.

Details: Prosecutors are seeking to detain Epstein as he awaits trial, arguing he is a flight risk, per the New York Times. Investigators also seized nude photographs of underage girls from his Manhattan townhouse. Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

  • 3 unnamed victims are cited in the case in New York. A judge ruled in February that prosecutors had broken the law in reaching a previous plea deal. One of those prosecutors was then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta — now President Trump's Labor secretary.

Context: Epstein was taken into federal custody over the charges on Sunday, involving allegations that date to the 2000s, per AP. The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan brought the charges against him, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Police alleged in a previous court case that Epstein paid underage girls to perform sexual acts for him in Florida. After reaching a plea deal on state charges, he was convicted in 2008 of soliciting a girl who was aged 16 when the offenses began.

  • Before his first arrest, Epstein was an influential hedge fund manager who once counted President Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew among his friends.

Why it matters: The Miami Herald reported in November allegations concerning the plea deal between federal prosecutors and Epstein in which he averted federal prosecution for his participation in an international sex operation.

This article has been updated with more context and details on Epstein's reported charge and court appearance.

Go deeper: What we know: The Jeffrey Epstein indictment

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

3 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Qatar's prime minister (R) attends the 2019 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.