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The Latest: Sheriff launches criminal probe of Epstein stay

July 26, 2019
FILE - This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges Thursday, July 18, 2019, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)
FILE - This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges Thursday, July 18, 2019, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on financier and accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

A Florida sheriff says he’s launched a criminal investigation into financier Jeffrey Epstein’s stay at his county jail.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw released a statement Thursday evening confirming that his office had opened a criminal investigation Tuesday, in addition to an internal affairs investigation announced last week.

Democratic state Sen. Lauren Book told news outlets earlier Thursday she has received a dozen threatening text messages and phone calls telling her to back off from pushing a probe into the sheriff’s office.

Epstein was allowed to go to his office on work release during his 13-month stay at the Palm Beach County stockade. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to prostitution-related charges involving underage girls.

Epstein avoided federal indictment at the time but now is jailed in New York on new sex trafficking charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

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4:45 p.m.

A Florida lawmaker says she has gotten threats since asking the governor to order an investigation into why financier Jeffrey Epstein was allowed out on work release while serving a jail sentence.

Democratic state Sen. Lauren Book told news outlets Thursday she has received a dozen threatening text messages and phone calls telling her to back off from pushing a probe into the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Book said one message read, “Little girl, you better stop.”

Epstein was allowed to go to his office on work release while in the Palm Beach County stockade after a 2008 guilty plea on prostitution-related charges involving underage girls.

He avoided federal indictment at the time but now is jailed in New York on new sex trafficking charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday he is considering a state investigation.

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2:30 p.m.

The board of the company that owns Victoria’s Secret and other brands has hired an outside law firm to review any role financier Jeffrey Epstein may have played at the retail company.

L Brands’ decision regarding the financier charged with sex trafficking was announced Thursday. Epstein has pleaded not guilty.

The company called Epstein’s alleged crimes “abhorrent.” It said in a statement that Epstein’s business association with its founder and CEO Leslie Wexner ended nearly 12 years ago but that it took the matter seriously and so ordered a thorough review.

The company also operates Bath & Body Works. It says it doesn’t believe that it ever employed Epstein or that he ever served as its authorized representative.

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10:05 a.m.

Jeffrey Epstein was found injured on the floor of his cell in the federal jail where he is awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, a person familiar with the episode tells The Associated Press.

The person said Thursday that it wasn’t clear whether bruising on his neck was self-inflicted or from an assault.

The financier was treated and remains in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.

The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate response from jail officials and one of Epstein’s lawyers.

A judge has denied bail to Epstein, ruling that he poses a danger to the public.

Epstein is accused of having sex with girls as young as 14. He’s pleaded not guilty.

— By Tom Hays

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This item has been corrected to show that the jail is the Metropolitan Correctional Center, not the Metropolitan Detention Center.

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