Friday, February 25, 2011
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I'm a sex offender, not a predator
Billionaire pervert Jeffrey Epstein is back in New York City -- and making wisecracks about his just-ended jail stint for having sex with an underage girl.
"I'm not a sexual predator, I'm an 'offender,' " the financier told The Post yesterday.
"It's the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel," said Epstein.
Epstein's flippant reasoning aside, a New York judge ruled at a hearing last month that the moneyman is the most dangerous kind of sex offender: a Level 3.
That means, according to the state, Epstein is at "high risk" to repeat his offense and poses "a threat to public safety."
But Epstein doesn't seem bothered by the designation.
"The crime that was supposedly committed in Florida is not a crime in New York," he said.
Epstein recently returned to his $50 million East 71st Street mansion and celebrated his release from a Florida jail with his close pal, Britain's Prince Andrew.
Epstein served 13 months of an 18-month sentence for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
In court papers, the victim was identified as a 14-year-old girl.
At one point, Epstein was facing 10 years to life on multiple counts of statutory rape, according to investigators. Court documents in that case claimed he routinely sought out girls as young as 14 and paid them $200 to $1,000 for sexual massages in his homes in Palm Beach, Fla., and Manhattan.
He also molested girls he had brought in from South America and Europe and once was given three 12-year-old girls from France as a "birthday gift," the documents alleged.
Epstein struck a secret nonprosecution deal with the feds. The government agreed to drop its probe of various sex-crime allegations if Epstein copped to prostitution felonies in Florida state court.
But in New York's sex-offender database, Epstein doesn't come up in a ZIP code search. He shows up only via the "name search" option, and no New York address is listed.
That's because Epstein's Upper East Side home is considered "temporary." By state law, he is required to provide only his permanent address to the database, and Epstein listed his Florida home.