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French modelling agent who knew Jeffrey Epstein placed under investigation

PARIS: Jean-Luc Brunel, a longtime French modelling agent who knew the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was placed under investigation and remanded in custody, the office of the Paris prosecutor said on Saturday.

Brunel, 74, was detained on Wednesday as part of a probe opened last year into allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. Police arrested him at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport before he boarded a plane to Senegal.

The Paris prosecutor said Brunel was suspected of having raped, assaulted and harassed several minor and adult victims as well as having organised transport and hosting of young women for Epstein.

Under French law, an investigation may or may not lead to a trial.

A lawyer for Brunel did not reply to a request for comment.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail at age 66 in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Brunel co-founded the Karin Models agency in the 1990s, and founded MC2 Model Management in the United States with Epstein.

In August 2019, Paris' chief prosecutor opened a preliminary inquiry into whether Epstein committed sex crimes on French territory or against French girls.

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: Reuters