November 29, 2018

Alexander Acosta brokered a sweetheart deal for a rich man accused of abusing dozens of young girls.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, the man entrusted with protecting the rights of U.S. workers, appears to have done a bang-up job protecting one well-connected 54-year-old millionaire accused of abusing dozens of young girls.

Back in 2007, when he was a U.S. attorney in Miami, Acosta helped broker a deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a money manager whose list of powerful friends included Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Epstein was facing a federal indictment for trafficking and abusing minor girls for at least six years, according to a bombshell report in the Miami Herald. The FBI had identified at least three dozen girls sexually abused by Epstein, but the investigation turned up more than 100 “Jane Does,” the Herald reports.

With Acosta’s help, Epstein got off with essentially a slap on the wrist for his extraordinary crimes ― a short 13-month stint in prison, which he was allowed to leave for days at a time on work release.

The victims were not even told about the plea deal, which also ensured that no one who had helped facilitate Epstein’s crimes would be prosecuted. Epstein’s victims never even had a chance to tell their stories, until the Miami Herald reached out and several came forward.

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But in this case these weren’t adult women, but children so young that some were still in braces. Epstein and his powerful defense attorneys ― including Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr ― argued that they were prostitutes.

“You’d have every reason to believe you’d put this guy away for life and put away those who helped him,” Michael Dolce, a lawyer in Palm Beach, Florida, who represents sex abuse victims, told HuffPost. Dolce said he was close to speechless when he learned of Epstein’s sweetheart deal.

“This is breathtakingly shocking,” he said.

The full article can be accessed here.