Call for probe into Epstein's French connection

World | 13 Aug 2019

Two French government ministers called yesterday for an investigation into the alleged child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, saying a US inquiry had exposed links between the disgraced financier and France.

Epstein, whose suicide in jail over the weekend has outraged his alleged victims, owned an apartment in Paris and had been in the city just before his arrest in New York last month.

"The American investigation has highlighted ties with France. ... An investigation should be opened in France so that all the light is shed on this matter," Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said in a joint statement with child welfare minister Adrien Taquet.

"We would like to use this occasion to highlight again our utmost determination to protect young girls from sexual violence and especially from being exploited by criminal networks, and this should result in new measures being announced during the final quarter of this year," added Schiappa.

Epstein, 66, was accused of raping and sexually exploiting dozens of young girls for years, and of also providing teenage victims for friends and acquaintances.

According to US media reports, he kept a "little black book" with the names of over 100 "recruits" from areas where he had residences, including New York, Palm Beach, Florida, and Paris. Prosecutors believe he orchestrated a sprawling network of high school and college students who were lined up by other young women and then forced to satisfy the hedge fund billionaire's wishes.

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