Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking of minors

2004 file photo of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images)

Sixty-six-year-old billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested on charges of sex trafficking of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005.

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The Daily Beast first reported the news Saturday evening and said that Epstein will appear in court in New York on Monday.

In 2007 and 2008 Epstein avoided charges after he was accused of paying underage girls for sexual massages in Florida, according to the New York Times.

The 2008 deal ended a federal investigation that could have landed Epstein in prison for life. Instead, he was allowed to plead guilty to lesser state charges that resulted in a 13-month jail sentence and required financial settlements to dozens of his victims. He also had to register as a sex offender.

The agreement was overseen by former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who is now President Donald Trump's labor secretary. In the face of intense criticism, Acosta has defended the plea deal as appropriate under the circumstances.

Epstein is a wealthy hedge fund manager who once counted as friends former President Bill Clinton, Great Britain's Prince Andrew, and Trump, who was his neighbor in Palm Beach at the time.

Epstein has maintained a home in New York City, a ranch in New Mexico and a private Caribbean island.

Please check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.