A timeline of events in the Jeffrey Epstein case
Wealthy U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein died in an apparent suicide Saturday, just over a month after he was charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.
Here’s a timeline of the events in the case:
2005 – Epstein, a New York businessman who was friends with world leaders and other elites, first came under investigation by police after they received reports he had sexually abused minors at his Florida mansion dating back to the early 2000s.
2008 – After reaching a deal called a non-prosecution agreement, Epstein pleads guilty to state charges in Florida of soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution. That allowed him to avert a possible life sentence, instead serving 13 months in a work-release program.
He was required to make payments to victims and register as a sex offender. Alex Acosta, who would later become U.S. labour secretary, was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida at the time the agreement was struck.
Nov. 28, 2018 – Reporter Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald publishes an explosive investigation that sheds light on the allegations against Epstein and the deal he received.
She found about 60 women who say they were abused from 2001 to 2006, and was able to identify 20 other alleged victims.
Feb. 6, 2019 – Reuters reports that the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating whether U.S. attorneys committed professional misconduct in the Epstein case.
Feb. 21 – A federal judge rules that Epstein’s 2008 plea deal was illegal because some of his victims weren’t consulted in the sentencing, a violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
WATCH: New York unseals charges of underage sex trafficking against Jeffrey Epstein (July 8)
July 6 – Reports surface citing unnamed law enforcement sources that Epstein has been arrested. He was later charged with a count of sex trafficking a minor and a count of sex trafficking conspiracy.
July 8 – Epstein pleads not guilty to the charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 45 years. Court documents allege that Epstein abused “a vast network” of girls at his homes in Miami, New York and elsewhere. Some of the victims were allegedly paid to recruit others.
July 10 – A new accuser comes forward. Jennifer Araoz told the Today show she planned to sue Epstein, who allegedly raped her when she was 15.
WATCH: New Jeffrey Epstein accuser says he raped her when she was 15
July 11 – Amid criticism of the 2008 Epstein sentence, Trump administration labour secretary Acosta defends his handling of the case in a news conference that lasted nearly an hour.
“We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail,” Acosta said. “He needed to go to jail.”
WATCH: Acosta offers explanation, but no apology to Epstein victims
July 12 – Acosta steps down from his post amid calls to resign.
July 18 – Epstein is denied bail over concerns for community safety. The judge also said Epstein could be a flight risk.
July 24 – NBC reports that Epstein had recently been found “semiconscious with marks on his neck” in his cell. The report, which cited unnamed sources, did not establish whether Epstein had been injured by someone else or had attempted to harm himself. The sources said Epstein was placed on suicide watch.
WATCH: Jeffrey Epstein transferred to the infirmary with minor injuries
Aug. 9 – A federal appeals court unseals roughly 2,000 pages of documents, including graphic allegations involving Epstein. The documents were part of a defamation lawsuit filed by an Epstein accuser against a British socialite.
Aug. 10 – Epstein is found unresponsive in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center at about 6:30 a.m. He is transported to hospital and later pronounced dead. Authorities described his death as an apparent suicide. Epstein was 66.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
With files from the Associated Press, Reuters and Laura Hensley
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