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A modeling agent who was near to disgraced U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein was located lifeless Saturday in his French jail mobile, authorities in Paris say.
Jean-Luc Brunel was remaining held in an investigation into the alleged rape and trafficking of minors for sexual exploitation, in accordance to the Paris prosecutor’s place of work.
Victims of the alleged abuse explained shock and dismay that the agent will in no way face trial. They described his dying as a double blow soon after Epstein killed himself in 2019 in a Manhattan jail whilst awaiting sex-trafficking prices.
Paris law enforcement are investigating Brunel’s dying, the prosecutor’s office environment said. The situations of his death had been not designed general public, and Brunel’s attorneys did not remark on it.
Brunel experienced denied wrongdoing and claimed via his attorney that he was inclined to speak to investigators. Brunel’s lawful team had repeatedly complained about the situations of his detention and sought to have him produced pending demo.
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Brunel, who was in his 70s, was detained at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport in 2020 as element of a broad French probe unleashed by the U.S. sexual intercourse-trafficking rates versus Epstein.
A frequent companion of Epstein, Brunel was thought of central to the French investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of females and women by the U.S. financier and his circle. Epstein traveled often to France and had apartments in Paris.
Numerous women of all ages who determined themselves as victims have spoken to law enforcement considering the fact that the French probe was opened in 2019 and, at periods, expressed aggravation with the gradual tempo of the investigation.
One particular of them, Thysia Huisman, mentioned the news of Brunel’s demise sent her into “shock.”
“It tends to make me indignant due to the fact I’ve been preventing for many years,” Huisman, a Dutch previous product who informed law enforcement she was raped by Brunel as a teen, informed The Associated Press. “For me, the conclusion of this was to be in courtroom. And now that full ending — which would support variety closure — is taken away from me.”
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A attorney representing Huisman and other victims, Anne-Claire Lejeune, said other women of all ages concerned in the case come to feel the similar.
“Terrific disappointment, good aggravation that (the victims) won’t get justice,” she explained to The AP.
She expressed doubt the investigation would lead to a trial since Brunel was so central to the situation. She also voiced problems that Brunel’s death signifies his accusers will not get official recognition of their position as victims.
“To rebuild on your own (just after abuse), that is one of the crucial methods,” Huisman claimed.
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Huisman expressed hope that Brunel’s demise will not discourage women from continuing to discuss out about abuse. The investigation, alongside with a escalating reckoning about sexual misconduct in France, has “freed up females to communicate about it,” she reported. “It’s a difficult stage that involves a good deal of braveness and energy.”
One particular of Epstein’s most important accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has alleged that Brunel procured women — some of them minors — for sex with Epstein and other individuals, luring them with claims of modeling perform.
Britain’s Prince Andrew not too long ago agreed to settle a scenario in which Giuffre accused him of sexual abuse when she was 17. Guiffre states she was supplied to Andrew by Epstein, costs that Andrew denies. The settlement, in which Andrew agreed to make a substantial donation to Giuffre’s charity, avoids a trial.
The Connected Press contributed to this report.