Work release program suspended during Epstein investigation

FILE- In this April 23, 2019, file photo, state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, debates a bill in Tallahassee, Fla. Book, known as a champion for child sexual abuse victims, asked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, to authorize a state investigation into the circumstances of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's freedom to leave jail on work release. (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File)

A Florida sheriff has suspended a work release program that allowed Jeffrey Epstein to visit his office while staying at the county jail

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida sheriff has suspended a work release program that allowed Jeffrey Epstein to visit his office while staying at the county jail a decade ago.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw released a statement Friday saying that he's requested the county's independent Criminal Justice Commission to review the program.

Last month, Bradshaw opened criminal and internal affairs investigations into Epstein's 13-month stay at the Palm Beach County stockade. Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to prostitution-related charges involving underage girls. Under a plea deal, Epstein was allowed to spend most days at his West Palm Beach office. Reports show Epstein also was able to visit his Palm Beach mansion, despite restrictions on home visits.

The 66-year-old Epstein faces new federal sex trafficking charges in New York and has pleaded not guilty.

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