New: A weekly newsletter about the trends shaping cities

Stories

What we know: The Jeffrey Epstein indictment

A photo of the front door of one of Epstein's home.
The initials "JE" and doorway damage at the Manhattan residence of Jeffrey Epstein. Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

The unsealed Jeffrey Epstein indictment is public, with pages of documents alleging the sexual abuse and trafficking of underage girls in Florida and New York.

What's new: The latest allegations date to the early 2000s, with 3 unnamed victims cited in the case. On Friday, federal prosecutors accused Epstein of witness tampering involving wiring $350,000 to potential witnesses and possible co-conspirators, the NYT reports.

  • Epstein has been accused of paying underage girls hundreds of dollars to partake in sexual acts during massage sessions, in addition to asking them to recruit others for his use.
  • Investigators also claim they've seized a series of nude photos depicting underage girls from Epstein's Manhattan townhouse, according to the New York Times.
  • Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges, per the New York Post.

Why it matters: Epstein's alleged sexual misconduct with minors has been in the public eye for some time, but he'd benefited from a 2008 plea deal that involved then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now President Trump's secretary of Labor.

  • In November 2018, the Miami Herald published a scathing report dissecting the deal. A judge later ruled that prosecutors had broken the law in reaching the previous plea.
  • This time around, such a plea deal is virtually off the table, giving his accusers a new shot at justice.
  • Acosta's testimony was requested on Wednesday by House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings regarding Epstein's 2008 plea deal.

Epstein had once walked among a high-profile crowd until the 2008 deal caused his status to plummet, removing him from social circles that included Trump and former President Bill Clinton.

  • In a 2002 interview with New York Magazine, Trump said he enjoyed Epstein's company, stating, "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."

Between the lines: "For all his infamy, there are scant details of how [Epstein] made his money," Bloomberg writes.

  • Federal prosecutors, arguing to hold Epstein in jail without bail, said he is worth more than $500 million in a court filing on Friday, CNBC reports. In a letter filed to the U.S. district judge presiding over the case, prosecutors suggested that Epstein, particularly given his wealth, could be a flight risk.

What's next: Prosecutors made an appeal Monday for any other women who may be his victims to come forward.

  • "They deserve their day in court and we are proud to stand up for them by bringing this indictment."
  • "Mr. Epstein 'is not reformed, he is not chastened, he is not repentant,' prosecutors wrote to the judge, arguing against bail." [NYT]
  • A hearing is scheduled Monday to weigh whether to let Epstein out of the New York jail where he’s been since last week's arrest.

Go deeper: Read the indictment