Epstein Judge Takes Aim at Any Leaks in Child Sex-Traffic Case

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(Bloomberg) -- Jeffrey Epstein may become one of the first people outside the U.S. government to see who else is being investigated in the child sex-trafficking case against him -- as well as who might be called to testify in a trial.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman doesn’t want that information to leak out.

With Epstein’s legal team poised to begin reviewing prosecutors’ evidence, the U.S. said that any publication of the materials would “affect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals” and impede the investigation into others who haven’t been charged, Berman said in an order Thursday in Manhattan.

The so-called protective order, standard in criminal cases, strictly limits how Epstein’s legal team can handle the information, and bars Epstein from reviewing the evidence outside the presence of his lawyers. It also prohibits anyone involved in the case, including the government, from causing any of the material to be posted online or on social media.

Claims that prominent business leaders and politicians may have been involved in Epstein’s alleged abuse of underage girls have fueled speculation about who else may be caught up in the case. Some of those names may come out before trial anyway, after a federal appeals court ordered the unsealing of some 2,000 pages of documents in a related civil suit by an alleged victim.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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