New York financier Jeffrey Epstein appeared in court Monday after his arrest Saturday night on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. He pleaded not guilty.
Newly unsealed court documents detail the extent of Epstein's alleged sex trafficking operation, which were said to take place in locations including his Palm Beach, Florida and Manhattan residences between at the years of 2002 and 2005.
Epstein is said to have sexually abused girls as young as 14, the documents allege, with dozens of minors enticed, recruited, transported, and paid "hundreds of dollars in cash" for sex acts under the guise of "massages," according to court documents.
Read more: Investigators say they found 'hundreds' of nude photos of girls in Jeffrey Epstein's New York City mansion
The financier's past includes him bragging about his "collection" of famous friends, which include President Donald Trump, who said he'd known Epstein for "fifteen years" in a 2002 New York Magazine profile.
"Terrific guy," Trump told New York Magazine in 2002. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
Here are all the known connections between Trump and Epstein.
Trump's Labor Secretary was the federal prosecutor who signed Epstein's unconstitutional 2008 plea deal
Trump's strongest line to the case at hand is his association with Alexander Acosta, who he hand-picked to be his Labor Secretary in 2017. Acosta formerly worked as a federal prosecutor in Miami, where he signed the 2008 secret plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal prosecution and serve limited jail time.
During Acosta's Senate confirmation hearing for his Cabinet position, he was questioned about the secret Epstein plea deal, which a Palm Beach district judge ruled unconstitutional in February, because it violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
"We decided [...] that Mr. Epstein should plead guilty to two years, register as a sexual offender and concede liability so the victims could get restitution," Acosta said in response to Senator Tim Kaine asking if he approved the deal despite opposition from prosecutors in his office. "If that were done, the federal interest would be satisfied and we would defer to the state."
Acosta isn't the only high-ranking member of Trump's administration with a direct tie to Epstein. Attorney General William Barr said in his confirmation hearings that he might recuse himself on overseeing matters related to Epstein.
Barr's reasoning was that he formerly served as counsel to Washington, DC law firm Kirkland & Ellis - the same law firm that Acosta worked at with Epstein's attorney, Jay Lefkowitz, before the two agreed on his 2008 plea deal. Barr's father also reportedly hired Epstein as a math teacher at Manhattan's elite K-12 Dalton school.