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Acosta Handed Epstein Possible Defense Argument in New Criminal Case, Legal Expert Says


It seems like Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta potentially handed convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein an argument in new federal sex trafficking case against him in the Southern District of New York.

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor and current CNN legal analyst, immediately reacted to Acosta’s remarks by saying the Labor Secretary basically teed up a future argument for Epstein’s defense team.

Others made the same observation, noting that Acosta said earlier in the press conference that he wouldn’t comment on the pending case.

Acosta, previously a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, reached a non-prosecution agreement, in which Epstein agreed to plead guilty in state court. In the end, the defendant only admitted to two counts for soliciting prostitution, and spent 13 months in jail–much of it in a cozy work release scenario–and had to register as a sex offender. The alleged co-conspirators also received immunity from federal prosecution. This punishment was extremely light, given Epstein’s alleged criminality. He was accused of sexually abusing and exploiting dozens of underage girls.

Victims were kept in the dark about this agreement, according to a 2018 report from The Miami Herald. A federal judge ruled in February that the government broke the law by doing this.

Acosta defended his approach in the press conference on Wednesday. He said he did it for the survivors, and argued that they would’ve faced hostile defense tactics. He also said that ensuring Epstein became a known sex offender and did time behind bars was the no. 1 priority. Ultimately, he declined to offer an apology. But his answers confused and aggravated many observers. Note the responses from Joyce White Vance, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York.

[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]

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