Billionaire gets busted - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Billionaire gets busted

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A Palm Beach billionaire is headed to jail.  For months it's been rumored, today it happened - a plea deal resolving the sex charges against big time money manager Jeffrey Epstein.

On Monday morning in a Palm Beach County courtroom in West Palm Beach, Epstein pleaded guilty to getting someone under 18 to engage in prostitution, and soliciting a prostitute.  Epstein faced up to 15 years in prison on the charges, but under the deal worked out between Epstein's lawyers and prosecutors, he will serve a year and a half in the Palm Beach County Jail.

Police say Epstein had a 17-year old girl come to his home, undress, and give him massages.  Investigators say the girl then brought other teens to Epstein's Palm Beach home for intimate encounters, which included inappropriate touching.  Monday prosecutors said there were both underage and adult victims.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Epstein was taken into custody to begin serving his sentence.

Following his year and a half in jail, Epstein will be on probation for a year, which includes a curfew and no contact with minors.  Epstein must also register as a sex offender.

"There were a lot of considerations made by the state," explained prosecutor Lanna Belohlavek.  "Having victims testify and their feelings regarding that, embarrassment to them which might occur.  It was just a long time resolving it, coming to what we felt was an appropriate resolution."

Epstein's lawyers left court without commenting, saying they would issue a statement later in the day.

Normally if someone receives a sentence of more than a year, they go to a state prison.  Monday even the judge questioned why Epstein was headed to the county jail instead.  The lawyers responded that it was just part of the deal they worked out.

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