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Prosecutors say passport, valuables show Jeffrey Epstein a flight risk

By
Clyde Hughes
Attorney for a few of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims David Boies walks out of the courthouse after Epstein appeared in Manhattan Federal Court Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Attorney for a few of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims David Boies walks out of the courthouse after Epstein appeared in Manhattan Federal Court Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 15 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors said in court Monday investigators found a phony passport, diamonds and valuable artwork inside billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's $77 million Manhattan home -- a sign, they said, the accused sex trafficker will flee the United States if he's granted bail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller made the remarks at Epstein's bail hearing Monday. He said Epstein's wealth makes him a major flight risk and gives him the ability to possibly tamper with witnesses.

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Rossmiller said a search of the home found an expired passport listing Epstein's country of residence as Saudi Arabia.

Epstein, 66, was arrested earlier this month on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors between 2002 and 2005. At Monday's hearing, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman postponed making a decision about Epstein's bail until Thursday.

RELATED Prosecutors allege Epstein paid $350,000 to potential witnesses

Two women who say they were assaulted by Epstein urged Berman to keep him in jail. Monday was the first time the women faced Epstein in court.

"Your honor, my name is Courtney Wild and I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein at the age of 14," said one, who accused Epstein of assaulting her in Palm Beach, Fla. "He is a scary person to have walking the street."

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"I was 16 years old when I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. Epstein here in New York," said the other woman, Alice Farmer. "I want to voice my support (against his release). We know they have found photos of young women in his home."

RELATED Alex Acosta resigns as labor secretary over role in sex case plea deal

Epstein attorney Martin Weinberg said Monday prosecutors have failed to prove his client continued to have illegal relationships with underage girls. Epstein pleaded guilty as part of a 2008 deal in a separate Florida case that accused him of sexual misconduct with a minor -- a controversial deal given by former Miami prosecutor Alex Acosta, who resigned last week as President Donald Trump's labor secretary.

Weinberg said Epstein is willing to accept a bail amount as high as $100 million and be confined to his New York City mansion.

RELATED Jeffrey Epstein pleads not guilty to charges of sexually exploiting 'dozens' of underage girls

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