Jeffrey Epstein's apartment in Paris on August 13. Photo: Mehdi Taamallah/Nurphoto via Getty Images

Prosecutors in France are opening a preliminary investigation into deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, "in connection with possible offenses such as rape, the sexual assault of minors and criminal conspiracy," the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The criminal case against Epstein technically ended with his death. But as American prosecutors refocus their attention on possible accomplices in Epstein's sex-trafficking ring and some accusers plan to file new suits, FBI and international investigations are gaining traction and the scope of the case continues to expand.

Catch up quick: Prosecutors in Paris did not establish on Friday whether they received specific accusations against Epstein, per the NYT, but they said the investigation aims to “uncover potential offenses” committed against French victims abroad and in France.

  • Former French modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, mentioned in court documents regarding Epstein's case, has been accused of providing young girls as victims for Epstein, per the NYT. Brunel has not been named by French investigators.
  • Epstein was indicted for sexually abusing female minors at his New York and Florida properties in July.
  • He also managed to avoid being placed in New Mexico's sex offender registry over a 2010 case.

Go deeper: Jeffrey Epstein and the utility of fake billions

Go deeper

Mayors plan multifront attack on census shutdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A growing number of mayors are banding together to fight what they consider to be an inaccurate and abruptly curtailed 2020 census, using an arsenal of legal, legislative and congressional efforts.

Why it matters: The outcome may determine whether President Trump or Joe Biden controls the redistricting process, which governs everything from congressional representation and redistricting to funding for schools and Head Start.

Moderator Kristen Welker will not control mics during final presidential debate

President Trump and Joe Biden at the first presidential debate in September. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

A producer from the Commission on Presidential Debates will manage the operation of the candidates' microphones during Thursday's final presidential debate — not the event's moderator, NBC's Kristen Welker — a source with knowledge of the event told Axios.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Alexi McCammond: Given President Trump's accusations of partisanship against the other debates' moderators, it makes sense that Welker would want to steer clear of any such optics during her stint in the chair.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.