Rich sex of­fender Ep­stein set­tles 1 suit, but more to come

Rome News-Tribune - - EDITORIALS & OPINION -

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A decade ago, Florida fi­nancier Jef­frey Ep­stein pleaded guilty to sex crimes in­volv­ing un­der­age girls and got 13 months be­hind bars. What the pub­lic and his ac­cusers didn’t know at the time was that he had se­cretly struck a deal with fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors that spared him from charges that could have put him away for the rest of his life.

When the deal fi­nally came to light years later, it im­me­di­ately raised sus­pi­cions that Ep­stein — a man who counted Bill Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump among his friends and had some of the finest le­gal tal­ent in Amer­ica as his lawyers — had used his wealth and po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions to win spe­cial treat­ment.

Those al­le­ga­tions flared anew in re­cent weeks as news or­ga­ni­za­tions, led by The Mi­ami Her­ald, pub­lished in­ter­views with the al­leged vic­tims and took a closer look at Alexan­der Acosta, who as the U.S. at­tor­ney in Mi­ami in 2008 ap­proved the se­cret deal. Acosta is now Trump’s sec­re­tary of la­bor.

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