PARIS >> A modeling agent associated with disgraced American financier Jeffrey Epstein has been charged in France with sexual harassment and rape of a minor over the age of 15.
Jean-Luc Brunel was arrested on Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation at Charles de Gaulle airport as he was about to take a flight to Senegal.
The Paris prosecutor’s office announced in a statement today that the charges were pronounced on Friday by a magistrate at the end of Brunel’s police custody. He said Brunel had not faced any charges of human trafficking, which was one of the main lines of inquiry. The magistrate decided there was currently insufficient evidence to rule on this charge, but he was not acquitted and could be charged in the future if anything new emerged. Brunel was taken into custody.
Brunel is being investigated as part of a broad French investigation into the alleged sexual exploitation of women and girls by Epstein and his entourage. Several women have identified themselves as victims and spoken to police since the French investigation opened in August last year, the same month in which Epstein killed himself in prison.
A former model who testified to French police that she was drugged and raped as a teenager by Brunel said she cried with joy when she learned of her detention.