Jeffrey E. Epstein, a billionaire New York financier long accused of molesting dozens of girls, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors, an extraordinary turn of events in a long and sordid criminal case.
He is expected to appear before a federal magistrate on Monday, more than a decade after he first gained notoriety with lurid accusations that he had paid dozens of girls for sexual massages in Florida.
Mr. Epstein, 66, had avoided federal criminal charges in 2007 and 2008 in a widely criticized plea deal whose lenient terms are still being criticized.
Before the plea deal, Mr. Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, had been friendly with Donald J. Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
He pleaded guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting prostitution, served 13 months in a county lockup and registered as a sex offender. His jail arrangement allowed him to get out of the Palm Beach County Stockade six days a week to work out of his office.
The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, which brought the charges against Mr. Epstein, declined to comment on Saturday night.
CBS Miami reported that Mr. Epstein was arrested late Saturday afternoon at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after his private jet landed there from Paris. He was taken into custody by federal agents.
The television station said Mr. Epstein was arrested under a sealed federal indictment and charged with one count of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
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