Jean-Luc Brunel in the early 2000s (Myspace profile).
Model agent Jean-Luc Brunel was arrested in Roissy last week and indicted for "rape of a minor".
The investigators obtained new testimonies, with facts denounced not prescribed.
American justice could ask to hear Brunel, who is suspected of having played the touts on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein.
For eighteen months, the investigation opened in France after the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein seemed to stand still.
But everything accelerated with the arrest of the modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel in Roissy, last Wednesday.
After more than 48 hours in police custody, the one who is suspected of having played the touts on behalf of the American financier was indicted on Saturday for "rape of a minor over 15 years" and "sexual harassment" .
Also placed under the status of assisted witness for acts of "trafficking in human beings aggravated to the prejudice of minor victims for the purpose of sexual exploitation", he was placed in detention.
Entrusted to the Central Office for the Repression of Personal Violence (OCRVP), the investigations recently allowed the emergence of new testimonies relating to facts denounced but not prescribed.
"If he was imprisoned, it is because he has things to be ashamed of,"
a source close to the investigation
Not on the run?
Jean-Luc Brunel, installed in the United States since the beginning of the 1990s, had for the last time been seen in public at the white evening of the Paris Country club, on July 5, 2019, on the eve of the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein .
Since then being very discreet, the French agent was apprehended on Wednesday by the border police at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport while he was trying to reach Senegal.
While the police have recently discovered facts not covered by the statute of limitations, should this trip be seen as an attempted escape?
"He has no domicile in France," remarks a good connoisseur of the case, referring to a man who "travels around the world", especially in Portugal, where he could have a residence.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brunel could also have been forced to stay in France in recent months due to the health crisis and traffic restrictions.
The septuagenarian was probably staying with family.
He has a sister and a brother, Arnaud Brunel, with whom he had invested in the United States in the modeling agency Next Management, at the end of the 1980s.
No red notice from Interpol
According to our information, Jean-Luc Brunel was not the subject of an Interpol red notice, and he was not arrested at the request of the United States.
The investigation, opened in August 2019 by the Paris prosecutor's office, "relates to facts concerning him, either which would have been perpetrated in France, or that he would have committed himself abroad, insists a source close to the file. .
If he is tried, he will be in France anyway, there will be no extradition.
France does not extradite its nationals, with a few rare exceptions within the Schengen area.
At this stage, Jean-Luc Brunel is not targeted by criminal charges in the United States, several sources indicated to the
, which is investigating in partnership with
on the Epstein network.
But American justice could seek to question the French agent, while the British Ghislaine Maxwell, who would have introduced Brunel to Epstein in the 1990s, was indicted for sex trafficking last July in the United States.
In the early 2000s, Jeffrey Epstein granted Brunel a million dollar letter of credit to launch his MC2 agency in Miami.
Subsequently, many young girls from Eastern Europe or Latin America on a model visa were accommodated in apartments owned by Jeffrey Epstein's brother.
“There is no doubt that the Justice Department and the FBI will ask to hear it,” said former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes, who headed the federal agency against child exploitation.
According to her, "in cases of sexual crimes, there is international collaboration, especially when it concerns minors."
The FBI could in particular go through liaison officers present in France.
His lawyer "no longer represents him"
In France, Jean-Luc Brunel could face new charges.
Anne-Claire Lejeune, who represents several alleged victims, said to have been contacted by three new women in recent days: "The arrest of Jean-Luc Brunel, followed by his recent indictment, have encouraged new victims, so far hesitant and not very confident in justice, to come forward;
they understood that if there is a time to speak, it is now.
They know that their statements will be decisive for the rest of the procedure and all hope for an admission of guilt from Mr. Brunel, ”said the lawyer.
Friday, an ex-Scandinavian model raped by Jeffrey Epstein also testified in
She accuses the French scout of having turned her towards her attacker in 2003, assuring him that her American "good friend" could help her pay her university registration fees.
While investigators accumulate testimonies implicating him, Brunel "is in denial, completely", observes a police source.
At 75 years old, Jean-Luc Brunel, who notably helped to take off the careers of Milla Jovovich and Monica Bellucci at the head of the Karin Models agency, has been targeted by accusations since 1988. Today, he will have to defend themselves without their lawyer Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt.
The prestigious firm Temime confirmed it to
Monday evening, it "no longer represents him".
A decision which would, according to our information, be linked to his attempt to leave for Senegal.
A year ago, Dreyfus-Schmidt affirmed that his client was not on the run and “was available to justice”.
Epstein case: French agent Jean-Luc Brunel indicted and remanded in custody
Arrest of Jean-Luc Brunel: A former model accuses the French agent of having turned her towards Epstein
20 seconds of context
20 seconds of context
20 Minutes has been
20 Minutes has been
investigating for several months the links between Jeffrey Epstein and Jean-Luc Brunel on both sides of the Atlantic, in collaboration with the
In 2018, the revelations of the American daily and its journalist Julie K. Brown had helped relaunch the investigation of the American justice system and led to the arrest of Epstein in July 2019.