The Case Against Jeffrey Epstein Unfolded Over More Than a Decade. Here Are Some Key Moments.


The sex-trafficking charges filed against Jeffrey Epstein this week in Manhattan underscored the long scope of the investigation into accusations that he engaged in sexual acts with girls, some as young as 14, in both his Upper East Side townhouse and his residence in Palm Beach, Fla.

The allegations against Mr. Epstein stretch back to at least 2002. Around the same time, a spate of media coverage pushed Mr. Epstein from a somewhat enigmatic money manager to a more public figure. Here’s how the saga unfolded.

Starting as early as 2002, according to the recent indictment, Mr. Epstein began sexually abusing and exploiting dozens of girls.

Mr. Epstein also asked some of the girls to recruit other girls, then paid them for bringing them to him, the indictment said. As a result, Mr. Epstein created a network of vulnerable young women he could sexually exploit, which prosecutors said he continued to do through at least 2005.

By 2007, federal prosecutors had prepared a 53-page indictment of Mr. Epstein.

At the same time, according to court records obtained by the Herald, emails between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and prosecutors discussed a possible plea deal.

In October 2007, Mr. Acosta met with one of Mr. Epstein’s lawyers for breakfast, according to the Herald, during which they struck a deal that would help conceal the full accusations against Mr. Epstein and allow him to avoid a lengthy sentence.

It took months for the deal, a nonprosecution agreement, to be finalized. All the while, Mr. Epstein’s accusers were told the investigation was ongoing, and the F.B.I. continued its work.

At a 2011 hearing, Mr. Epstein sought to get his designation in New York’s sex-offender registry lowered from a top-level classification to the lowest possible tier.

Prosecutors did not specify why they brought charges against Mr. Epstein now but said they were not bound by the agreement that Mr. Acosta’s office made in 2008.

However, Reid Weingarten, Mr. Epstein’s lawyer, said the allegations in the current indictment were previously settled in that agreement.

Mr. Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges. He could face up to 45 years in prison if convicted.



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