Jeffrey Epstein Won't Stand Trial on Federal Sex Trafficking Charges Until Next June at Earliest; Defense Attorneys Describe 1 Million Pages of Discovery - NBC4 Washington
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Jeffrey Epstein Won't Stand Trial on Federal Sex Trafficking Charges Until Next June at Earliest; Defense Attorneys Describe 1 Million Pages of Discovery

Epstein, accused of having sex with girls as young as age 14, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges that carry the potential for up to 45 years in prison

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    Epstein Shows No Signs of Injury After Jail Incident

    The public saw Jeffrey Epstein for the first time Wednesday since he was found injured in his jail cell but he showed no signs of any injuries. The judge set a trial date for June 2020. NBC 4 New York's Jonathan Dienst reports.

    (Published Wednesday, July 31, 2019)

    A subdued Jeffrey Epstein listened passively in court Wednesday as a judge said he won't face trial on sex trafficking charges before June 2020, and more likely a few months afterward. 

    There was no mention at the Manhattan federal court appearance or any visible sign of injuries after the 66-year-old financier was found on the floor of his cell last week with neck bruises. 

    Epstein's lawyer, Martin Weinberg, refused to say what might have left his client with neck bruises after the court hearing. 

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe urged a June trial date for the man accused of arranging to have sex with girls as young as age 14, saying there is "a public interest in bringing this case to trial as swiftly as possible." 

    But Weinberg said the case is far from "ordinary," adding the defense team won't be ready before Labor Day 2020. He said prosecutors delayed bringing charges that relate to alleged crimes that occurred in the early 2000s at Epstein's residences in Manhattan and Florida. 

    U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said a trial projected to last four to six weeks could tentatively begin June 8, but he'll likely defer to defense lawyers' needs if they are not ready. 

    Epstein's demeanor in court was noticeably different from previous appearances, when he was actively engaged with his lawyers and looking through papers. 

    On Wednesday, he sat quietly, his hands folded in front of his face through much of the 20-minute proceeding. Occasionally, he looked toward courtroom artists and reporters seated in a jury box. 

    Epstein has remained at the Metropolitan Correction Center, which is adjacent to the downtown Manhattan courthouse. Sources close to the case tell News 4 his lawyers have visited him at the facility daily, spending hours upon hours with him in an interview room. 

    Epstein has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges that carry the potential for up to 45 years in prison. 

    Berman refused bail after concluding he is a danger to the community and a flight risk. Prosecutors have said they fear he might try to influence a growing number of witnesses who support charges that he recruited and abused dozens of girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. His lawyers had argued he should be allowed to stay under house arrest in his Manhattan mansion. 

    His lawyers say an agreement reached with federal prosecutors a dozen years ago disallows the charges and they say he has committed no new crimes. 

    The lawyers agreed to file written arguments about the agreement and double jeopardy claims by Sept. 13. Oral arguments will occur in October. 

    The non-prosecution deal was reached before he pleaded guilty in state court in Florida to prostitution-related charges involving underage girls. Afterward, he was required to register as a sex offender and pay restitution to many victims. While he served a 13-month jail term, he was permitted to leave jail to work for 12 hours a day, six days a week. 

    Epstein was arrested July 6 when he arrived at a New Jersey airport on a private jet from Paris, where he has a home.

    Jonathan Dienst contributed to this report

    Footage From 1992 Shows Trump, Epstein at Party

    [NATL] Footage From 1992 Shows Trump, Epstein at Party

    NBC released footage in its archives from 1992 of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The video shows them laughing and pointing as they appear to talk about women at the event, NBC News reported. Trump has said he knew Epstein, but “was not a fan” and they have not spoken in 15 years.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)