Alex Acosta, still somehow the Secretary of Labor, apparently wants us to believe that he pushed too hard in prosecuting sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein. “This matter was appealed all the way up to the deputy attorney general’s office, and not because we weren’t doing enough, but because the contention was that we were too aggressive,” Acosta told the House Education and Labor Committee in response to questions from Rep. Frederica Wilson.
Really? A federal investigation of Epstein revealed that he had engaged in sex-trafficking and the abuse of dozens of women, many underage. Yet, Acosta, then the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, allowed Epstein to plead to only two state prostitution charges, one involving a minor.
Consequently, Epstein served just 13 months in state prison. He was housed in a private wing at the Palm Beach County jail and allowed work release privileges. Epstein’s year of “incarceration” reportedly included trips to New York and the Virgin Islands.
In addition, a federal judge found that the Epstein plea deal violated the Crime Victim’s Rights Act because of the “decision to conceal the existence of the [agreement] and mislead the victims to believe that federal prosecution was still a possibility.” The Department of Justice is currently investigating whether Acosta’s actions as U.S. attorney amounted to professional misconduct.
If the Epstein prosecution was too aggressive, what would an appropriate prosecution have yielded? An apology from the government and payment of Epstein’s attorneys fees?