July 8, 2019

Is Jeffrey Epstein a blackmailer?

Back in 2015, a woman named Virginia Roberts alleged that U.S. authorities had footage of her having underage sex with powerful friends of billionaire Epstein, who was charged by federal prosecutors on Monday with sex trafficking, including trafficking minors. Roberts said Epstein "debriefed her" after she had sex with these "associates" so that he would possess "intimate and potentially embarrassing information" that could be used for blackmail. Epstein's allies dismissed Roberts as "a liar and a fantasist."

But after Epstein was arrested on Saturday, a law enforcement search of his Upper East Side apartment reportedly revealed compact discs in a locked safe labeled "Young [Name] + [Name]," which, as The Intercept's Ryan Grim points out, could buttress Roberts' allegations.

Famous men connected to Epstein include President Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Britain's Prince Andrew, with whom Roberts claims she was forced to have sex. The royal family "vehemently denied" the allegation to The Guardian back in 2015. Tim O'Donnell

July 8, 2019

Prosecutors on Monday announced sex trafficking charges against financier Jeffrey Epstein, also revealing nude photographs of apparently underage girls were found at his mansion.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman in a press conference on Monday said that after Epstein was taken into custody, federal agents executed a search warrant at his New York mansion, seizing evidence "including nude photographs of what appeared to be underage girls."

Epstein has been charged with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, with prosecutors saying on Monday he is "alleged to have abused dozens of victims," all of whom were underage and were given "hundreds of dollars in cash" after these alleged encounters. Epstein created an "ever-expanding web of new victims," prosecutors also said.

During this conference, Berman provided an FBI number that additional alleged victims of Epstein were encouraged to call.

"Your bravery might just empower others to speak out about crimes committed against them," FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney said. "It’s important to remember there never was, nor will there be, an excuse for this kind of behavior." Brendan Morrow

February 22, 2017

Police in Indiana are hopeful that the public will recognize the man heard in a grainy cellphone video taken by a young murder victim.

Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, disappeared on Feb. 13, and their bodies were found a day later in a wooded area outside Delphi, near the trail they planned to hike. During a press conference Wednesday, Indiana State Police announced there is a $41,000 reward for finding the killer, and played a clip from the video shot by German, featuring a man saying "Down the hill."

"She had the presence of mind to have the phone on and to capture video as well as audio," Capt. David Bursten said. Investigators are not certain if the man heard in the video is the same man seen in a photograph German also snapped from her phone; police say the man in the photo is the main suspect in the murders. Catherine Garcia

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