Documents: Epstein ducked sex abuse questions in deposition – AOL

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Documents: Epstein ducked sex abuse questions in deposition – AOL

NEW YORK (AP) — Confronted about allegations that he orchestrated a sex trafficking ring that delivered girls to him and his high-profile acquaintances, financier Jeffrey Epstein repeatedly refused to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself, according to court records released Friday.

A partial transcript of a September 2016 deposition in a lawsuit was included in hundreds of pages of documents placed in a public file by a federal appeals court in New York.

The 66-year-old Epstein was arrested July 6 and has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in a case that has brought down a Cabinet secretary and launched fresh investigations into how authorities dealt with Epstein over the years.

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The Jeffrey Epstein case

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NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 08: Two of the purported victims of multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild leave a Manhattan court house after a hearing on sex trafficking charges for financier Jeffrey Epstein on July 08, 2019 in New York City. Epstein is charged with having operated a sex trafficking ring in which he sexually abused dozens of underage girls. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Two of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild (R), exit the courthouse after the billionaire financier appeared for a hearing on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich during his arraignment in New York federal court, Monday, July 8, 2019. Epstein pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges. The 66-year-old is accused of creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

NEW YORK, US – JULY 08: David Boies, attorney for the alleged sex victims of the US financier Jeffreey Epstein case, delivers a speech to the media outside the United States Federal Court on July 08, 2019 in New York, United States. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: A residence belonging to Jeffrey Epstein at East 71st street is seen on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein is charged with running a sex-trafficking operation out of his opulent mansion. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Prosecutors exit the room after US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Member of the press listen as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: A protest group called “Hot Mess” hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein and President Donald Trump in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in New York, Monday, July 8, 2019. Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents unsealed Monday show Epstein is charged with creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

In this courtroom sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, second from right, listens along with defense attorneys, from left, Marc Fernich, Michael Miller, and Martin Weinberg as Judge Richard M. Berman denies him bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the “heart of this decision.” (Aggie Kenny via AP)

FILE – This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges Thursday, July 18, 2019, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the “heart of this decision.” (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)

In this courtroom sketch, Judge Richard M. Berman speaking as he denies Jeffrey Epstein bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the “heart of this decision.” (Aggie Kenny via AP)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and his attorney Martin Weinberg listen during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein’s lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

This courtroom sketch shows Judge Richard Berman as he speaks during the Jeffrey Epstein bail hearing in federal court, Monday July 15, 2019. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, listens as accuser Annie Farmer, second from right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Farmer says she was 16 when she “had the misfortune” of meeting Epstein and later went to spend time with him in New Mexico. Accuser Courtney Wild, right, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. Epstein’s lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and attorney Reid Weingarten, second from right, listen as attorney Martin Weinberg, right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein’s lawyers have insisted he will not run. They want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. Courtney Wild, third from left, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. She called him a “scary person” and urged detention “for the safety of any other girls” out there. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

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Epstein was asked in the videotaped deposition whether it was standard operating procedure for his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, to bring underage girls to him to sexually abuse.

Epstein replied “Fifth,” as he did to numerous other questions, citing the constitutional amendment that protects people against incriminating themselves.

He also was asked whether Maxwell was “one of the main women” he used to procure underage girls for sexual activities.

“Fifth,” he replied.

And he was asked whether Maxwell met one of the females she recruited for massages at the Mar-a-Lago resort owned by President Donald Trump in West Palm Beach.

“Fifth,” he replied.

Asked if he was a member of Mar-a-Lago in 2000, he replied once again, “Fifth,” according to the transcript.

After Epstein’s arrest, Trump acknowledged that he knew Epstein but said he “had a falling out with him a long time ago.”

Over 2,000 pages of documents made public by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pertained to a since-settled lawsuit against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers.

In a deposition included in the newly released papers, Giuffre said that her father, who worked at Mar-a-Lago as a maintenance manager, got her a job there in summer 2000 as a locker room attendant at the club’s spa when she was 16.

She said she was reading a book on massage therapy one day when she was approached by Maxwell, who noticed the book and told her she knew someone seeking a traveling masseuse. When Giuffre said she had no experience or credentials, she recalled Maxwell said: “We can train you. We can get you educated.”

The court records contain graphic allegations against Epstein, who is accused of trafficking young girls internationally to have sex with prominent American politicians, business executives and world leaders. They portray Epstein as a sex slave-driver with an insatiable appetite for underage girls.

“My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,” Giuffre said. “Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.”

Giuffre said Maxwell instructed her to take off her clothes and give oral sex to Epstein the first time she met him after bringing her to Epstein’s Florida home near Mar-a-Lago with the expectation she would be trained as a masseuse.

Maxwell is not accused of any wrongdoing. Prosecutors say they continue to investigate.

Charges against Epstein in federal court in Manhattan accuse him of recruiting and abusing dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

His lawyers say the charges should never have been brought because Epstein is protected by an agreement he reached with federal prosecutors in Florida a dozen years ago. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned last month after coming under fire for overseeing that deal when he was U.S. attorney in Miami.

Attorney Martin Weinberg has said Epstein has not committed crimes since pleading guilty to charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida in 2008.

At the time of Epstein’s arrest, prosecutors said they found a trove of pictures of nude and seminude young women and girls at his $77 million Manhattan mansion. They also say additional victims have come forward since Epstein’s arrest.

Epstein’s lawyers did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Friday.

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Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington and Curt Anderson in Miami contributed to this report.

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