Two alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein call on judge not to grant bail

Annie Farmer (L) and Courtney Wild (R), who say they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein, asked a New York judge not to grant the disgraced financier bail (AFP Photo/Johannes EISELE)

New York (AFP) - Two women who said they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein on Monday called on the judge handling the case not to grant bail to the disgraced financier.

"I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein at the age of 14," said Courtney Wild during the bail hearing.

She said Epstein, 66, should remain behind bars "just for the safety of any of the girls out there who are going through what I went through."

"He is a scary person to have walking on the streets," said Wild, who lives in Palm Beach, where Epstein has a residence.

Epstein was charged last week in New York with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

According to prosecutors, Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage teenage girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. Some were as young as 14.

Another alleged victim, Annie Farmer, also offered her support for federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman's plea that Epstein be kept behind bars.

Assistant prosecutor Alex Rossmiller stressed during the hearing that Epstein posed an "extraordinary flight risk" given the size of his fortune and his possession of a private jet.

Rossmiller said authorities had received information from a "financial establishment" about an account that contained $110 million.

And during a search of Epstein's Manhattan mansion, the prosecutor said police had found "dozens of diamonds" and "piles of cash" in a safe, as well as an expired passport from a foreign country with Epstein's photo in it and a different name.

Judge Richard Berman, who was expected to decide the matter Thursday, said a document submitted to the court by Epstein's defense team assessed his fortune to be more than $500 million.

Epstein's defense team has argued that he should be allowed to remain at his home, fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet and with his building under police video surveillance.