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US financier Jeffrey Epstein appeals bail denial in sex-trafficking case

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Jeffrey Epstein, the financier facing charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls, has appealed a federal judge’s decision to keep him in a Manhattan jail while he awaits trial.

According to a court notice made public on Tuesday, Epstein will ask the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the judge’s July 18 rejection of his request to remain under house arrest in his $77 million mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

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Epstein has pleaded not guilty and the appeal was expected.  His lawyer Reid Weingarten did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan declined to comment.

The charges, concerning alleged misconduct from at least 2002 to 2005, were announced more than a decade after Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges in Florida.

In denying him bail, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said the government had shown by clear and convincing evidence that Epstein would pose a danger to the community if released pending trial.

“Epstein’s alleged excessive attraction to sexual conduct with or in the presence of minor girls – which is said to include his soliciting and receiving massages from young girls and young women perhaps as many as four times a day – appears likely to be uncontrollable,” Berman said in a written decision.

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Prosecutors accused Epstein of arranging for girls under the age of 18 to perform nude “massages” and other sex acts, and of paying some girls to recruit others.

They also said there was a high risk Epstein would use his wealth to flee.

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Epstein estimated his net worth at $559 million, including a private plane and homes in Paris and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Lenient agreement

Lawyers for Epstein have said he has had an unblemished record since his 2008 guilty plea, which was part of an agreement negotiated quietly with Alex Acosta, then the U.S.  Attorney in Miami.

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Epstein served 13 months in jail but was allowed to leave regularly to work.

Many critics have called the agreement too lenient, and it led to Acosta’s July 12 resignation as U.S. President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor.

Epstein has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan, whose conditions have been criticized by some inmates.

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They have included the Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who at a July 17 hearing where he was sentenced to life in prison called his confinement conditions “psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day.”

The case is U.S. v. Epstein, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-cr-00490.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser

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Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.

"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.

"I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but...every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me," he said.

”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”

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Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia trainings at ‘The Base’ near Spokane: report

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One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

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