02:46 GMT24 January 2021
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    The French authorities detained the model scout earlier this week as part of a probe into potential victims of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged global underage sex ring.

    Paris-born modelling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, suspected of links to deceased paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has been indicted on charges of sexual harassment and rape of minors over the age of 15.

    The prosecution said in a press release that Brunel has also been remanded in custody and was given the status of material witness related to acts of human trafficking.

    The 74-year-old founder of the MC2 Model Management agency has denied the charges.

    Brunel was arrested in Paris on Wednesday at France's Charles de Gaulle Airport just moments before he boarded a plane bound for Senegal. His detention comes amid a broader investigation into rapes and sexual assaults against minors in France suspected to have been committed by the Epstein sex ring.

    The modelling agent, whose company was funded by Epstein, has been accused of facilitating the trafficking of minors for the disgraced tycoon, according to US court documents.

    One of the key figures in the Epstein case, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, previously said that she had been forced into performing sexual acts with Brunel on several occasions when she was still underage. He has vehemently denied the allegations.

    The French model scout has been conspicuously absent from the public eye since Esptein's apparent suicide in 2019.

    Epstein Case

    In 2005, Epstein was charged with molesting an underage girl and served a 13-month sentence.

    In July 2019, he was rearrested, this time on suspicion of running a sex-trafficking ring by luring underage girls into his New York and Florida estates to attend sex parties.

    He died in his prison cell during pre-trial detention at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Centre allegedly committing suicide.

    In July, one of Epstein's purported associates, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested and is charged with four federal counts dealing with her alleged procurement of young girls for Epstein.

    Tags:
    Jeffrey Epstein, Court, rape, underage sex, underage, France
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