French Prosecutors Open Preliminary Investigation Into Sex Offender Epstein - Reports

French Prosecutors Open Preliminary Investigation Into Sex Offender Epstein - Reports

The Prosecutor's Office of Paris on Friday launched a preliminary investigation into allegations made in France against US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused in the United States of sexually abusing and trafficking dozens of girls over many years but committed suicide shortly afterward while in pre-trial detention, French media reported

PARIS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd August, 2019) The Prosecutor's Office of Paris on Friday launched a preliminary investigation into allegations made in France against US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused in the United States of sexually abusing and trafficking dozens of girls over many years but committed suicide shortly afterward while in pre-trial detention, French media reported.

In July, French children's right organization Innocence en danger (Innocence in danger in English) appealed to the Paris Prosecutor's Office with testimony from ten of Epstein's alleged victims in France. Earlier that month, Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in the United States upon his arrival from Paris, where he owned a high-end apartment near the Champs-Elysees.

After "checks and cross-checks based on details obtained by the prosecution and collaboration with the relevant US authorities," Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations made against Epstein, specifically rape, including that of children under 15 years of age, sexual assault of minors and conspiracy to engage in criminal activities, the Prosecutor's Office, said as quoted by Le Monde newspaper.

The investigation will cover crimes committed by Epstein on French soil and in relation to French citizens abroad, the report added.

US police have been investigating US billionaire and financier Epstein since the 2000s.

In 2005, he was arrested in the United States for the first time on charges of molesting an underage girl and served a 13-month sentence.

In July, he was arrested again, this time on suspicion of running a sex-trafficking ring by luring underage girls into his New York mansion and estate in Florida to attend sex parties. Epstein, who risked facing up to 45 years behind bars, was eventually placed under pre-trial detention. He denied all accusations.

Epstein committed suicide on August 10 in his prison cell at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center.

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