New York - Prosecutors have singled out Jeffrey Epstein for harsher treatment than other defendants because he is rich, lawyers for the American financier claimed on Tuesday in arguing that Epstein should be freed while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Federal prosecutors say Epstein, 66, should be denied bail because there are no conditions under which a man with his money and international connections could be prevented from fleeing the country if he was released.
"To be sure, wealthy defendants do not deserve preferential treatment. But they certainly shouldn't be singled out for worse treatment - in effect, categorically disqualified from bail ... on the basis of their net worth," Epstein's attorneys wrote in papers filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday.
Both prosecutors and defense lawyers filed additional documents on Tuesday as US District Judge Richard Berman weighs whether Epstein should be granted bail, and if so, under what conditions. Berman said he would issue his ruling on Thursday.
Epstein was indicted in federal court in New York earlier this month on charges of trafficking underage girls for sex in at least two states. He was arrested on July 6 at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, where he had returned from Paris on his private plane.