'Missing' Jeffrey Epstein Associate Jean-Luc Brunel Arrested in France
Jean-Luc Brunel detained at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport
French modeling agent and former close associate of late sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, Jean-Luc Brunel, has been detained in France on accusations of sex crimes.
According to Paris prosecutors, Brunel was detained on accusations of rape, sexual assault of minors, human trafficking, and being part of a criminal conspiracy.
Brunel was detained at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport as he boarded a plane to Senegal, sources say.
Epstein was found hanged in his New York jail cell while awaiting trial for trafficking underage girls for sex.
French prosecutors were prompted to open their own criminal probe after his ownership of an apartment in an upmarket Paris district and allegations from women who say they were abused in France.
France's investigation is now focused on Brunel, who was accused in American court documents of procuring young girls and rape.
"The victims have long awaited the arrest of Jean-Luc Brunel. They welcome his detention with relief and with confidence in the legal process," said lawyer Anne-Claire Lejeune, who represents several victims.
Former Dutch model Thysia Huisman, who alleges she was "drugged and raped" by Brunel as a teenager, said:
"This is huge news. I am crying with joy."
Neon Nettle reported last year that Brunel vanished "without a trace" after authorities sought him for questioning.
Brunel has been described as Epstein's alleged "fixer" or "provider" of underage girls.
Investigators hunting for Brunel said at the time he "disappeared like a ghost without a trace."
According to the Daily Mail, Brunel - who founded New York's MC2 - denies any involvement with Epstein's crimes.
Virginia Roberts, who was a victim of Epstein's, who claimed to have slept with Prince Andrew three times, said she also slept with Brunel.
Roberts says she slept with Brunel "many times" when she was aged 16 to 19.
Many of the girls believed to have been used by Epstein are alleged to have been "sourced" in Paris.