NEW YORK – Registered sex offender and multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein is expected to face a four- to six-week trial on charges he sexually abused dozens of young girls, his defense attorney said in court Wednesday, adding that his legal team anticipates prosecutors will turn over one million pages of material on the case.
When the trial will begin remains unsettled. Prosecutors want a date in June 2020, while Epstein’s defense is arguing for a date after Labor Day of that year.
“We need time to receive one million pages of discovery and defend a four- to six-week trial,” said Martin Weinberg, Epstein’s defense attorney.
Epstein, 66, was arrested July 6 after landing at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport and charged with sex trafficking dozens of girls from 2002 to 2005. His case is especially notable because the jet-setting financier had pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida in 2008 to resolve similar allegations as part of an agreement with prosecutors that has been widely criticized as overly lenient.
The deal allowed Epstein to avoid being accused of federal crimes entirely, and he ultimately spent 13 months in jail, with work release privileges. It was approved by Alex Acosta, who was then the U.S. attorney in Miami. Acosta served as Trump’s labor secretary, though he resigned that post July 12 after Epstein’s arrest raised new questions about Acosta’s handling of the previous case.
Epstein is being held at the federal detention center in Manhattan after a judge rejected his request to be released on home confinement. His lawyers are appealing that decision.
Epstein was recently found in his cell with marks on his neck, and authorities are trying to determine if he was attacked or may have attempted suicide, according to two people familiar with the matter. In court Wednesday, he appeared in a blue jail uniform and showed no apparent signs of distress. His attorney did not address questions about the matter after the hearing, and it did not come up in court.