France opens rape investigation into Jeffrey Epstein

The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into Jeffrey Epstein, it confirmed on Friday.

The preliminary investigation has been opened on the counts of rape and sexual assault of minors under and over 15 years of age, criminal association with a view to committing crimes, and association of criminals with a view to committing offenses.

Paris prosecutors said the investigation was based on checks and cross-checks carried out on information provided to the public prosecutor’s office and exchanges with US authorities.

Epstein, an American financier, killed himself in a New York jail cell earlier this month while he was awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking involving underage girls in the US.

The prosecutor’s office added that the purpose of the investigation was to uncover possible offenses committed in France and abroad against French citizens.