Jeffrey Epstein, whose lawyers had argued that he should be allowed to repair to his Upper East Side mansion while he awaits trial on sex-trafficking charges, was denied bail by a federal judge on Thursday morning.
Judge Richard Berman ruled that Epstein must remain at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan as his case progresses to trial.
Epstein’s team offered to put up some of his hundreds of millions of dollars as collateral, suggested that Epstein could pay for private security during the pretrial period, and promised that he would not leave his sprawling residence on 71st Street. But prosecutors countered that Epstein was a substantial flight risk, and Berman agreed. “I am not suggesting that a different bail package would be appropriate because I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community,” he told the courtroom.
Investigators lent credence to the idea that Epstein might flee when they found a fake passport in Epstein’s possession during a search of his home, along with $70,000 in cash and dozens of diamonds.
The last time Epstein faced consequences for his treatment of underage women — when he pled guilty to soliciting a minor in Florida in 2008 — he was offered a much-maligned plea deal that allowed him to spend 12 hours a day on work release during a 13-month sentence. An attorney for some of Epstein’s accusers has said that Epstein continued abusing at least one woman during that period.
Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.