Jeffrey Epstein 'abused a woman while on work release' claims lawyer

Harriet Alexander
Jeffrey Epstein, pictured in court in New York during his arraignment on July 8 - FRE142054 AP

Jeffrey Epstein abused a young woman while on work release from his 18-month sentence, a lawyer for the woman claimed on Tuesday.

Brad Edwards told a press conference that a woman has come forward to say she was abused by the 66-year-old financier in 2007-8, while he was serving his sentence.

Epstein’s lawyers in Florida negotiated a plea deal whereby he would register as a sex offender and serve an 18 month sentence, but be spared federal prosecution for sex trafficking, and allowed to go to his Palm Beach office six days a week on work release. He only served 13 months of the 18 month sentence.

The deal was arranged by Alex Acosta, Donald Trump’s labour secretary, who resigned on Friday amid mounting questions over the lenient deal.

He did not release the name of the new accuser.

Jeffrey Epstein, in court in Florida in 2008

Mr Edwards dropped the bombshell at a press conference with his client, Courtney Wild, who has sued the government over the secret Florida deal, which was made without informing the accusers – a legal requirement.

Epstein was arrested on July 7 by police in New York, and faces 40 years in prison if convicted on new sex trafficking charges.

Ms Wild, who on Monday appeared in court to ask the New York judge not to grant bail to Epstein, called on any other victims to come forward. A judge will make a decision on bail on Thursday. 

“I never had the change for my voice to be heard,” she said. “My voice was muted by the same people that were supposed to protect me. Eleven years later a judge has ruled my rights were violated.

“It’s time for the government to do right by me and other victims.

“To every victim out there, I understand what you are going through. You may try to convince yourself it was a long time ago and try to move on. But you are not alone. If you are a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, you know what I know, he will continue to sexually abuse women until he is stopped.”

Protesters outside court in New York on July 8

Epstein was first accused of molesting dozens of underage girls a decade ago in Florida, where witnesses said that he recruited teenage girls for erotic massages that escalated to molestation, masturbation and sexual contact.

Police say that after Epstein’s arrest on July 7, new potential victims have also come forward. They also claim that a raid on Epstein's palatial Upper East Side mansion revealed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of nude pictures of young girls.

The police also found a safe full of cash, diamonds, and a fake Saudi passport during the raid.

Epstein's lawyer Martin Weinberg has been approached by The Telegraph for comment.