Jeffrey Epstein has been denied bail while he awaits a federal trial over sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy charges in New York, The Guardian reported. Epstein will remain in prison until his trial, although the date has not yet been set, according to Refinery 29.
“The government has established danger to others and to the community by clear and convincing evidence,” Manhattan Federal Court Judge Richard Berman said on Thursday, according to The Guardian. “I doubt that any bail package can overcome a danger to the community.”
The decision was welcomed by Republican Senator Ben Sasse, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee, and by US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, AP reported Thursday.
"Survivors deserve more answers and true justice," Schultz said, adding that Epstein "will never spend enough time behind bars."
Epstein’s lawyers insisted that their client does not pose a danger, arguing that since his 13 month imprisonment in 2008, he has stayed clean.
Prosecutors noted that Epstein, a high net-worth person, is a flight risk, particularly after he was found to be in possession of a foreign passport, expensive jewelry and tens of thousands of dollars in cash.
The bail hearing also saw the testimony of two women who claimed they were sexually abused by Epstein, a documented associate of both US President Donald Trump and former US President Bill Clinton.
One victim, Courtney Wild, said she was sexually abused by Epstein when she was just 14, and pleaded with the judge to keep him jailed.
“He’s a scary person to have walking the streets,” she said, according to AP.
The women’s testimony appears to have played a role in the judge’s decision to deny bail, a Refinery 29 article says.
Epstein, a financier with a reported net worth of some $560 million, has been imprisoned in the Metropolitan Correctional Center since 6 July over charges of the sexual abuse of underage girls during a period between 2002-2005. If convicted, he will face up to 45 years in prison, an AFP report says.