Up to 30 women are expected to take a judge up on his invitation to speak at a hearing after financier Jeffrey Epstein killed himself before facing sex trafficking charges. The hearing Tuesday morning was scheduled last week by US District Judge Richard Berman, the AP reports. Berman presided over the case prosecutors brought against Epstein after the 66-year-old convicted felon was arrested July 6. A New York City coroner has formally classified Epstein's Aug. 10 death a suicide. The judge set the hearing after prosecutors asked that he scrap charges against Epstein since the defendant is dead. Berman said he would give prosecutors, Epstein lawyers, and any victims a chance to speak.
Since the hearing was scheduled, it was revealed that Epstein signed a will just two days before his suicide, putting over $577 million in assets into a trust fund. The will, filed in the Virgin Islands, where Epstein maintained a residence, was expected to make it more difficult for dozens of accusers to collect damages. Epstein had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges and was held without bail, accused of sexually abusing women in the early 2000s at mansions in Manhattan and Florida. Since his death, an angry Attorney General William Barr has vowed that anyone who aided Epstein in sex trafficking will be pursued in a continuing investigation.
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