In the past week, two of Jeffrey Epstein’s wealthy and famous accomplices have been arrested under suspicion of rape, sex trafficking, and other related charges.
As we reported on Monday, fashion mogul Peter Nygård was arrested for charges relating to dozens of victims, who claim that the 79-year-old multi-millionaire was just as bad, if not worse than Epstein.
Now, another well-known modeling agent that was associated with Epstein has been arrested. Jean-Luc Brunel, who allegedly once gifted Epstein two 12-year-old French girls, was arrested in Paris this week while attempting to board a flight to Dakar in Senegal.
Victims believe that Brunel was on his way to Dakar because he was tipped off about the arrest, as Senegal doesn’t have an extradition treaty with France.
According to Le Parisien newspaper, Brunel was arrested for charges of rape, sexual assault against minors, sexual harassment, criminal conspiracy, and human trafficking.
Brunel has been in hiding since Epstein’s apparent death, and has been known as a close associate. Brunel’s name appeared more than 15 times on flight logs for Epstein’s private jet, and he visited Epstein close to 70 times when he was in prison the first time ten years ago.
Long before the Epstein scandal broke, Brunel was accused of rape by several models in a 1988 CBS documentary.
Brunel founded the modeling agencies Karin Models and MC2 Model Management, and used his position in the industry to take advantage of young girls, many of whom came from poor families.
Thysia Huisman, one of Brunel’s victims, said that the arrest was entirely unexpected.
“It’s incredible. I didn’t expect it all. Brunel raped me in 1991. He drugged me and raped me and I never came forward as I was ashamed. After Epstein’s arrest I felt I had to come forward,” Huisman told The Daily Beast.
Huismann wrote a book called “Close Up” where she details many of her experiences, including her encounters with Epstein and Brunel.
“I met Epstein through Brunel. I stayed at Brunel’s place in Paris and at night there were parties with older business friends of his and young, very young models and one night he gave me a drink and said we had to celebrate the start of my career in Paris,” she said.
She told investigators that Brunel drugged her drink and then raped her.
“I woke up the next day and the only thing I thought of was I had to escape his house and I took the first train out of Paris to Brussels and I never came back to Paris until last year when I went back to speak to the police and they took it really seriously,” she said.
Anne-Claire Lejeune, a lawyer representing several of Brunel’s alleged victims said that they have been waiting for this arrest for a long time.
“The victims have long awaited the arrest of Jean-Luc Brunel. They welcome this custody with relief, and confidence in the legal consequences that will be given. Their word finally takes on a meaning,” Lejeune said.
It is not clear when Brunel will be due to appear in court.