Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s New Mexico ranch could play into the case made by federal authorities in New York, New Mexico’s attorney general said.
State Attorney General Hector Balderas plans to forward all findings to the feds after investigating Epstein’s property, The Associated Press reported Saturday. Epstein pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges Monday in New York.
Epstein avoided registering as a sex offender in New Mexico after accepting a plea deal to avoid federal charges more than a decade ago, reported The New York Times. (RELATED: Child Sex-Trafficking Charges Against Jeffrey Epstein Unsealed Ahead Of Court Appearance)
“New Mexico continues to lag behind the rest of the country in strengthening outdated and weak laws that fail to protect our children from abuse,” Balderas, a Democrat, said in an email to the AP. “This is a huge black eye for our state.”
Balderas said he had been in touch with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, but he did not disclose how many alleged Epstein victims his office has located, according to the AP.
In addition, a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Epstein said she had been abused on Epstein’s New Mexico property in a 2015 Florida court filing.
Epstein purchased the property, known as Zorro Ranch, from the family of the late Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bruce King, according to the AP. It’s south of Santa Fe and features a sprawling mansion. County officials reportedly appraised it at over $12 million.
Child sex-trafficking charges against Epstein were unsealed ahead of his appearance in a New York City court Monday.
Authorities picked up Epstein on July 6 when his private jet landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
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