Jeffrey Epstein denied bail by federal judge

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Jeffrey Epstein was denied bail by a federal judge on Thursday as he faces criminal charges for sex trafficking, CBS News confirms. Judge Richard M. Berman ruled that Epstein, 66, will need to remain in jail as he awaits trial.

CBS News correspondent Mola Lenghi was inside the courtroom when Judge Berman announced his decision. Lenghi reports there was no reaction from Epstein when the judge spoke.

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Berman said “the heart” of the decision to reject bail was the potential dangers Epstein posed to the community. Berman also considered the risk of flight and cited “the potential for intimidation” of witnesses and the evidence prosecutors have of Epstein’s “failure to comply” with previous guidelines of his 2008 plea deal.

Berman said that ultimately the potential risk Epstein posed to the community outweighed any offer the defense would have made that could have secured his release. He called the defense team’s proposed bail package, that included supervised home confinement and a mortgage of Epstein’s $77 million Upper East Side mansion, “irretrievably inadequate.”

Epstein was arrested in New York on July 6 and charged last week with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. He is alleged to have abused dozens of underage girls as young as 14 over a number of years.

On Monday, federal prosecutors revealed in court that authorities found “piles of cash,” “dozens of diamonds,” and an expired Austrian passport with Jeffrey Epstein’s picture and a fake name during a raid of his Manhattan mansion earlier this month. On Thursday, Judge Berman mentioned these items as contributing to his decision to reject bail.

In a court filing on Wednesday, United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Epstein’s Austrian passport “contains numerous ingress and egress stamps, including stamps that reflect use of the passport to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.” U.S. Attorney Berman added that Epstein’s team still has not disclosed to the court how he acquired the foreign passport or if he is a citizen of another country other than the United States.

On Thursday, Judge Berman also cited the testimony by two Epstein accusers, Courtney Wild and Annie Farmer, who both spoke at the bail hearing on Monday. Wild said she was abused by Epstein at his Palm Beach home at age 14. Farmer said Epstein behaved inappropriately with her when she was 16 and that he flew her to New Mexico.

Judge Berman said he “considered those testimonies,” when making his decision.

Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

This is a developing story and CBS News will update it as more information comes in.

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