A French modeling agent accused of recruiting teenagers for pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was found dead by hanging in a Paris cell. 

The prosecutor of the case in Paris told CNN Jean-Luc Brunel, 74, was found hanged with sheets in his cell at 1:30 a.m. local time in the Parisian prison of Sante, without mentioning if it was a suicide. 

Brunel was accused of rape by several former models and arrested at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport in December 2020. He was charged with sexual assault of minors, sexual harassment, and trafficking of minors, including girls as young as 12, for which he was awaiting trial. 

The modeling agent, who had run Karin Models in Paris and later formed MC2 Model Management with Epstein, pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

The Paris investigation had been launched in August 2019 and focused on “acts of sexual nature likely to have been committed by Jeffrey Epstein and possible accomplices,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Billionaire Epstein was charged in July 2019 in the U.S. with having organized, between 2002 and 2005, a network of sexually exploiting young girls. Due to the possible existence of French minors among his victims, the Paris prosecutor’s office was alerted and opened the investigation.

According to his lawyers, Brunel had never stopped proclaiming his innocence, and his decision was not guided by guilt but by “a deep feeling of injustice.”

“A judge had released him a few months ago, and then he was re-incarcerated in undignified conditions,” they said. 

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former partner and accomplice introduced Brunel to the billionaire pedophile. Epstein was found hanging in his Manhattan jail in August 2019.

In July of last year, Maxwell was charged by federal prosecutors with recruiting and sexually abusing minors as part of a sex trafficking ring operated by Epstein.

Ian Maxwell, Ghislaine’s brother, called Brunel’s death “really shocking” and assured the New York Post that the family now “fears for her safety,” at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where she is being held for sexual exploitation of minors.

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