Paris prosecutor looks into possible Epstein sex crimes in France

PARIS, Aug. 23 (Reuters) - France has opened a preliminary inquiry to see if late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein committed any sex crimes on French territory or against any under-age French victims, the Paris public prosecutor said on Friday.

Epstein was arrested on July 6 in New Jersey after his private jet landed on a flight from Paris, where he had a residence on Avenue Foch, one of the capital's most exclusive addresses in the 16th District near the Arc de Triomphe.

Epstein died on Aug. 10 in his jail cell at the age of 66, and an autopsy report released this month concluded he had hanged himself.

7 PHOTOS
The few publicly-available photos of Jeffrey Epstein
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The few publicly-available photos of Jeffrey Epstein
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Carol Mack, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Henry Street Settlement Event on May 16, 1995 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Batman Forever/R. McDonald Event on June 13, 1995 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Portrait of American financier Jeffrey Epstein (left) and real estate developer Donald Trump as they pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Guest and Jeffrey Epstein attend Imperia U.S. Launch Party at The Statue Of Liberty at Liberty Island on September 7, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. Epstein is connected with several prominent people including politicians, actors and academics. Epstein was convicted of having sex with an underaged woman. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images)
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. Epstein is connected with several prominent people including politicians, actors and academics. Epstein was convicted of having sex with an underaged woman. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
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U.S. Attorney General William Barr has said that the criminal investigation into any possible co-conspirators of Epstein would continue.

Earlier this month, French gender equality minister Marlene Schiappa had called for an investigation, while a French child-protection group had also said it had written to the Paris public prosecutor.

Epstein had been convicted in 2008 in the United States of sex with a minor. He was later released but was again arrested in July, pleading not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.

(Reporting by Simon Carraud; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Sudip Kar-Gupta, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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