A judge denied bail Thursday for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges after prosecutors argued the jet-setting defendant is a danger to the public and might flee the country. The federal judge's ruling means Epstein will remain behind bars while he fights charges that he exploited dozens of girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s, per the AP. "I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community," US District Judge Richard Berman said Thursday. The defense had argued he should be allowed to await trial under house arrest with electronic monitoring at his $77 million Manhattan mansion. They said he wouldn't run and was willing to pledge a fortune of at least $559 million as collateral.
At a hearing Monday, Assistant US Attorney Alex Rossmiller said the government's case against Epstein is "getting stronger every single day" as more women contact authorities to say he sexually abused them when they were minors. One of his accusers who said she was sexually abused by Epstein when she was 14 in Palm Beach, Florida, pleaded with the judge to keep him jailed. "He's a scary person to have walking the streets," Courtney Wild said during the Monday hearing. Rossmiller said the government learned earlier this week that a raid of Epstein's mansion following his July 6 arrest turned up "piles of cash, dozens of diamonds," and a passport with a picture of the defendant but a name other than his in a locked safe. (The defense had an explanation for that fake passport.)