Almost two years after being charged with solicitation, the Palm Beach financier and former friend of President Bill Clinton was booked today after pleading guilty to the charge and an additional charge of procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution.
55-year old Jeffrey Epstein, a former math teacher, still faces civil lawsuits that accuse him of sexually assaulting high school students as young as 15 years old.
Epstein was booked and processed this morning, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office. He is now at a county jail where he will remain for the next 18 months.
After his jail time, Epstein will be placed under house arrest for one year and will have a lifelong obligation to register as a sex offender, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post. The Post is also reporting that Epstein must submit to an HIV test within 48 hours and that the results will be provided to the victims or their parents.
Epstein's office released this comment earlier today. "Mr. Epstein fully resolved his case this morning in Palm Beach County state court. Mr. Epstein accepted responsibility for the charges, relating to conduct that occurred several years ago. By agreement, he will begin serving his sentence immediately."
Epstein was charged back in July 2006 after a lengthy probe by the Palm Beach police department. Despite only being charged with solicitation at the time, the allegations in the official police affidavit were much more serious and included charges that he repeatedly paid young, and some underage girls, to come to his house, massage him, and on a few occasions have sex with him.
Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter was so angered at the time that he sent a letter to the parents of the girls he said he believed were victims of sex crimes saying, "I do not feel that justice has been sufficiently served."
Epstein, once a math teacher at an elite private school in New York, became rich as a financial adviser to the wealthy. His friendship with former President Clinton began after Clinton left office. Epstein lent his private 727 jet to Clinton for his 2002 trip to Africa. Epstein has contributed more than $100,000 to Democratic candidates.
At least four civil suits have been filed against Epstein in relation to the allegations.