Jeffrey Epstein seeks $77 million bail package in New York sex-trafficking case

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By Tom Winter and Rich Schapiro  with NBC News Politics
Jeffrey Epstein at the launch of RADAR Magazine in May 18, 2005 at Hotel QT in New York.   -  Copyright  Sipa via AP Images

Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers on Thursday asked a federal judge to release the accused child sex predator on a bail package worth up to $77 million.

The request was made in court papers filed three days after federal prosecutors in New York proposed that Epstein remain behind bars without bond for allegedly preying on dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005.

"The government seeks to remand a self-made New York native and lifelong American resident based on dated allegations for which he was already convicted and punished," Epstein's lawyers wrote.

New York prosecutors charged Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking and conspiracy more than a decade after he signed a controversial non-prosecution deal in 2007 that allowed him to dodge a federal indictmentalleging he abused several underage girls.

Epstein ultimately pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting minors for prostitution, and served a 13-month sentence in a Florida county jail.

In their court papers, Epstein's lawyers propose that his bond be secured by a mortgage on his Manhattan mansion, valued at $77 million. They say his private jet can be pledged as collateral.

Epstein "submits that his conduct over the past 14 years proves that he poses no risk of flight or threat to the safety of the community," his lawyers wrote.