PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – A federal judge in New York has tentatively scheduled a trial for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein for just about a year from now.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said that June 2020 is the earliest Epstein will stand trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Epstein’s defense attorneys asked the judge for additional time to review what they described as 1 million pages of discovery in the complex case. They asked for a trial date after Labor Day 2020.
Prosecutors said there is a public interest in resolving the case earlier than that.
Wednesday’s hearing was the first since last week’s apparent suicide attempt in the federal correctional center where he’s being held.
Epstein was arrested in New York on July 6. He’s pleaded not guilty.
From 2002 to 2005, prosecutors say he paid hundreds of dollars to girls as young as 14 to have sex with him, some of whom he paid to recruit other victims.
His lawyers have pleaded for Epstein to be released on bail, with his $77 million home being used as collateral, but so far a judge has ordered him to remain in custody.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 45 years in prison.
In Florida, Epstein was convicted on one count of procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution. He served a 13-month sentence, registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to victims.
His plea deal helped him avoid more serious federal charges. But news reports of the deal sparked a public outcry, and federal prosecutors in New York charged him with sex trafficking involving underage victims. The charges led to the resignation of President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Alex Acosta, who was Miami U.S. attorney when the deal was signed.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)