News broke Friday morning that Labor Secretary Alex Acosta would resign from his position due to criticism of his handling of a prior case against accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Acosta served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida back in 2008, when Epstein secured a lenient non-prosecution agreement. That agreement also blocked potential charges against any potential co-conspirators who were accused of helping Epstein recruit the girls.
Epstein is facing new charges from the Southern District of New York. He’s accused of recruiting teenage girls into giving him massages that eventually turned sexual. Another reported victim, Jennifer Araoz, came forward Wednesday morning, accusing Epstein of raping her when she was just 15 years old.
The renewed pressure on Acosta prompted his resignation. Florida lawmakers and attorneys who have handled similar cases were swift to react upon hearing the news that Acosta was stepping down.
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“Acosta’s claim that the evidence of Mr. Epstein’s attacks was unavailable years ago is willfully ignorant at best and perhaps far worse than that. Any prosecutor knows that there are multiple ways to gather evidence in sex crimes cases and his actions, or lack thereof, failed not just dozens of young women but also the justice system that was supposed to protect them. Mr. Acosta had no business serving as a public official, and his removal from office should be a reminder that prosecutors must always enforce the law fairly regardless of money or power.”
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