(AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Uma Sanghvi, File)

Epstein Prosecutors Broke The Law

White House looking into Acosta role in sex abuse plea deal

February 22, 2019 - 12:40 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it's "looking into" Labor Secretary Alex Acosta's handling of a secret plea deal with a wealthy financier accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls

A federal judge ruled Thursday that prosecutors in Florida violated the rights of victims by reaching the non-prosecution agreement with Jeffrey Epstein. Acosta was the Miami U.S. attorney who oversaw the arrangement.

President Donald Trump's spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, on Friday called it a "complicated case."

"My understanding is that's a very complicated case," she said, adding that it was "something we're certainly looking into, but that they made the best possible decision and deal they could have gotten at that time."

Asked if Trump still had confidence in Acosta, Sanders said: "Again, we're looking into the matter. I'm not aware of any changes."

Acosta has called the deal appropriate.

The Miami Herald reports that instead of prosecuting Epstein under federal sex trafficking laws, Acosta helped negotiate a non-prosecution agreement that gave Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from federal prosecution.  Epstein quietly pled guilty in state court to two prostitution charges and served 13 months in the county jail.

The Herald reports that Acosta agreed to seal the deal, meaning that none of Epstein's victims, who were mostly 13 and 16 years old at the time of the abuse, were told about it until it was too late for them to appearat his sentencing and possibly reject the deal.  Two of his victims filed a lawsuit in 2008 accusing prosecutors of violating the crime Victims' Rights Act and U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra agreed.



(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)