Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire who has been accused of molesting young girls for decades, has been arrested for sex trafficking.

The Daily Beast first reported that he was apprehended for "allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday, according to three law enforcement sources. Saturday's arrest by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force comes about 12 years after the 66-year-old financier essentially got a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida."

After being accused of orchestrating a "sexual pyramid scheme" involving young girls and wealthy men (the girls were allegedly told they could make money giving men massages and encouraged to bring in other girls) in New York and Florida, Epstein managed to cut a plea deal in 2007 with then-U.S. Attorney/ now current U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta. In 2018, the Miami Herald revealed that the arrangement was "the deal of a lifetime." From a Herald report in May:

The controversial agreement negotiated by Acosta allowed Epstein to escape federal sex trafficking charges, even though evidence showed that Epstein had molested more than three dozen girls at his Palm Beach mansion in the 1990s and early 2000s. The victims were never told about the deal, which Acosta then sealed — thereby making it impossible for anyone, including his victims, to find out what crimes Epstein had committed and whether there were any other victims or accomplices involved.

In February, U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra declared that the non-prosecution agreement was illegal because it violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, designed by Congress to prevent crime victims from being ignored in the criminal justice process. In this case, the judge ruled, federal prosecutors deliberately hid the agreement from Epstein’s victims in violation of the law.

Epstein was a prominent donor to Democrats (who returned the money after he was convicted), and was friendly with Prince Andrew; President Bill Clinton; Alan Dershowitz; and future president Donald Trump, who once said of Epstein, "I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it - Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

The Herald also managed to identify dozens of women who said they were abused by Epstein, and spoke to eight on the record. One woman who was abused at age 14 said, "You can’t ever stop your thoughts. A word can trigger something. For me, it is the word ‘pure’ because he called me ‘pure’ in that room and then I remember what he did to me in that room."

After Epstein served a short prison sentence at a cushy federal prison (the NY Times: "His jail arrangement allowed him to get out of the Palm Beach County Stockade six days a week to work out of his office"), in 2011 he sought to avoid Level 3 sex offender status in New York City. However, in spite of the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Gaffney attempted to have him classified as a Level 1 sex offender, a judge refused. According to the Daily News, Judge Ruth Pickholtz of the New York Supreme Cour said that the time, "I have to tell you, I'm a little overwhelmed because I have never seen a prosecutor's office do anything like this. I have done so many [sex offender registration hearings] much less troubling than this one where the [prosecutor] would never make a downward argument like this."

The Manhattan DA's office said last year that there was no dealing on behalf of Epstein, noting that the office previously admitted admitted that Gaffney "made a mistake (in open court) by misreading the Sex Offender Registration Act provision about what you have to include and exclude from the score."

Last week, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that almost 2,000 pages of documents from Epstein's case be unsealed. It's believed that Epstein's friends may be named as well, leading to the court to warn the media, "We have long noted that the press plays a vital role in ensuring the public right of access. … At the same time, the media does the public a profound disservice when it reports on parties’ allegations uncritically."

A doorman who works near Epstein's Upper East Side townhouse told the NY Post, "Me and my partner heard a big bang... They broke the door down — FBI, cops... They just went in with bags."

When questioned about being a sex offender by a Post reporter in 2011, Epstein said, "I'm not a sexual predator, I'm an 'offender.' It's the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel."