Fifteen Didn't Get Jeffrey Epstein Twenty
Why is Alexander Acosta still Secretary of Labor? Even by the debased standards of the Trump administration, Acosta is filthy and should have resigned long ago. The guy helped Jeffrey Epstein, a serial child rapist, skate by with a rap on the knuckles. And instead of being ostracized by polite society, he's still a Cabinet member. WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Last month, US District Judge Kenneth Marra of the Southern District of Florida ruled that the US Attorney's office, then led by Alexander Acosta, had violated the victims' legal rights in 2008 by failing to notify them of Epstein's plea agreement in state court and leading them to believe that federal charges would be forthcoming. In fact, the sweetheart plea deal had already been worked out before the feds even met with the 14-year-old victim and made her spend hours discussing the details of her abuse. Because they are ghouls.
Acosta went so far as to have breakfast with with Epstein's lawyer Jay Lefkowitz and personally assure him that the victims would be kept out of the loop.
U.S. Attorney Acosta then met with Lefkowitz for breakfast and Lefkowitz followed up with a letter stating, "I also want to thank you for the commitment you made to me during our October 12 meeting in which you . . . assured me that your Office would not . . . contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses, or potential civil claimants and their respective counsel in this matter."
In fact, the victims were kept so completely in the dark that the first girl who reported Epstein's pedophile ring has long assumed that she was the "child prostitute" in the sole charge of solicitation of a minor that he eventually pled to. (Which is not a thing, since a child cannot consent to sexual intercourse with an adult, much less to trade sex for money.) Last night The Washington Post reported that Acosta's office allowed Epstein to plead guilty to soliciting a different, older girl, who was actually 16 at the time of the sexual contact. Which means that in more than half the country, Epstein isn't even required to register as a sex offender.
The decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen — part of a plea deal that has already been criticized as overly lenient — has eased his obligations to register as a sex offender. In New Mexico, for instance, where Epstein has a 7,600-acre property called Zorro Ranch, he is not required to register because his victim was not under 16, state officials said.
Wow, what a lucky break! Kind of a shame for that poor 14-year-old girl who came forward in the first place and was forced to recount her abuse to multiple different state and federal law enforcement agencies, huh?
"They were cutting a plea deal. It wasn't a prosecution," said attorney Spencer Kuvin, who represented the 14-year-old girl who alerted police, referencing the number of victims court records say federal prosecutors identified. "They had a grab bag of 40 girls to choose from."
He and his client believed she was the victim in the state case in part because of her role in reporting Epstein. Upon learning that she was not, Kuvin said: "It's unbelievably upsetting. The rug has been swiped out from under the one girl who was brave enough to come forward and break this thing."
The Miami Herald, which broke this story and has been all over the Cindy Yang massage parlor saga -- SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL PAPER! -- reports that the Epstein case wasn't the first instance where Acosta's office went easy on a serial child sexual predator. In 2007, the same year that the 14-year-old Epstein victim came forward, prosecutor A. Marie Villafaña was excoriated by federal Judge William J. Zloch for "intentional and/or serious lapse in judgment" for failing to disclose to the court that a man who traveled from Texas to have sex with a 14-year-old had crossed state lines on multiple occasions to have sex with underage girls and was grooming another child online at the time of his arrest. Acosta's office launched an aggressive campaign to defend Villafaña's conduct, but was unsuccessful in persuading Judge Zloch that she had fulfilled her duty of candor by failing to mention the defendant's serial sexual predation at sentencing.
The lead prosecutor on Epstein's case was ... A. Marie Villafaña.
ALEXANDER ACOSTA, GET, and we cannot stress this enough, THE FUCK OUT NOW.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.