A former state attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida, called Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta’s account Wednesday of Jeffrey Epstein’s light sentencing in 2008 “completely wrong.”
Authorities arrested billionaire Epstein on July 6 for allegedly sex trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005. Officials previously arrested him for two counts of soliciting prostitution, one with a minor, and Epstein worked out a light sentence with then U.S. Attorney Acosta, which allowed him to continue going to work and report to jail at night for 13 months.
Epstein also had to register as a sex offender in Florida.
Barry Krischer, a former state attorney in Palm Beach County, called Acosta’s press conference Wednesday where he alleged that the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office was going to let Epstein walk free “completely wrong.” Krischer added that Acosta “should not be allowed to rewrite history,” according to a statement, The Hill reported.
“Simply put, the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office was ready to let Epstein walk free. No jail time. Nothing,” Acosta said in a press conference Wednesday. “Prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable, and we became involved.”
With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator.
— Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) July 9, 2019
Many have called for Acosta’s resignation after authorities arrested Epstein for the second time. Acosta backed his decision to make a deal with Epstein, alleging that the “sweetheart deal” was the best that could be done. (RELATED: House Oversight Seeks To Question Acosta On Epstein Plea Deal)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office had a federal indictment prepared against Epstein, which was never filed, The Hill reported. Krischer said the indictment was abandoned after “secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and Mr. Acosta.”
“If Mr. Acosta was truly concerned with the State’s case and felt he had to rescue the matter, he would have moved forward with the 53-page indictment that his own office drafted,” Krischer said according to The Hill.
Acosta stood fast Wednesday in his thoughts that the goal was for Epstein to go to jail and that this goal was accomplished. He also expressed sadness for the victims. Acosta violated a federal law by not disclosing the 2008 deal with Epstein to the victims.
“Everything that the victims have gone through in these cases is horrific, and their response is entirely justified,” Acosta said Wednesday. “At the same time, I think it’s important to stand up for the prosecutors of my former office and make clear that what they were trying to do was help these victims. They should not be portrayed as individuals that just didn’t care.”
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