September 24, 2019 / 9:50 AM / 2 months ago

Searches carried out at Paris home of Epstein and at model agency

FILE PHOTO: U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERS.

PARIS (Reuters) - French authorities have carried out searches at the Paris property of deceased sex offender and U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, and at a model agency of one of his alleged acquaintances, said a source from the Paris prosecutor’s office.

The source, who was confirming an earlier report from France Info radio, said the searches were now over.

Epstein was arrested in New Jersey on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14. The 66-year-old died on Aug. 10 in his jail cell, and an autopsy report concluded he hanged himself.

He was arrested after his private jet landed on a flight from Paris, where he had a residence on Avenue Foch, one of Paris’ most exclusive addresses in the 16th District near the Arc de Triomphe.

The source from the Paris prosecutor’s office said that besides the search at Epstein’s Avenue Foch residence, a search had also been carried out at the Paris office of Karin Models.

Karin Models was set up by French businessman Jean-Luc Brunel, who was named in an August court filing as having been an acquaintance of Epstein.

French lawyers for Brunel could not be immediately reached for comment, while Karin Models declined to talk to Reuters when contacted by telephone. Earlier media reports have said that Brunel has denied any wrongdoing.

Reporting by Simon Carraud and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Pravin Char

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