Jeffrey Epstein - live updates: Billionaire and former Trump associate in court over sex trafficking ring involving girls as young as 14

Chris Riotta

Jeffrey Epstein is facing sex trafficking and conspiracy charges over accusations he exploited numerous underage women and maintained a network of enablers who allowed the abuse to carry on for years.

Mr Epstein, a politically-connected billionaire financier and onetime associate to the likes of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, was arrested over the weekend after returning to the US on his private jet from a trip to Paris. Prosecutors suspect him of a list of sex crimes, including the recruitment of underage girls for sexual activity, paying minors for massages and later molesting them, as well as other crimes that allegedly took place in his New York and Florida homes.

He was scheduled to appear in a Manhattan federal court on Monday over the allegations dating back to the early 2000s. Mr Epstein previously avoided a major prison sentence after pleading guilty to state prostitution charges nearly 11 years ago. He skirted most of his 13-month sentence with the help of a work-release program that allowed Mr Epstein to leave the jail facilities almost every day.

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