July 15 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge said he will probably decide on Thursday whether Jeffrey Epstein, the American financier charged with sex trafficking underage girls, should be freed from jail and allowed to await trial under house arrest at his Manhattan mansion.
At a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said he will probably announce his decision on July 18 at 9;30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT), saying he needs more time to absorb materials that have been submitted.
Epstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty and is being held behind bars at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan. (Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; editing by Grant McCool)
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