July 23 (UPI) -- Nearly a week after a New York City judge declared him a flight risk and a danger to the community, Jeffrey Epstein has appealed the judge's decision to keep him locked up without bail.
Attorneys for the billionaire filed the appeal Monday, hoping to persuade the judge to allow him to be kept under house arrest. He is presently in the Lower Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center pending trial on child sex-trafficking charges. The filing was made public Tuesday.
Epstein was arrested July 6 and accused by federal prosecutors of trafficking of underage girls. Authorities said young girls were lured to his Upper East Side townhouse and waterfront Florida mansion on occasion between 2002 and 2005.
Last Thursday, the judge in the case refused bail -- citing a danger to the community and risk of flight. In searches of his homes, prosecutors said police found items that suggest he might try and leave the United States -- including a phony passport, cash and diamonds.
Epstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, he could spend up to 45 years in prison. Federal Judge Richard Berman ruled that Epstein has the financial means to leave the country, including a passport with a fake name, as reasons to deny bail. Epstein had requested that he be confined to his $77 million townhouse.
"The government has established danger to others and to the community by clear and convincing evidence and the government has established a risk of flight by a preponderance of evidence," Berman said. "Mr. Epstein's alleged excessive attraction to sexual conduct with or in the presence of minor girls -- which is said to include his soliciting and receiving massages from young girls and young women perhaps as many as four times a day -- appears likely to be uncontrollable."