A wrist slap for a se­rial sex abuser

The Week (US) - - News - Liz Mair

TheDai­lyBeast.com

A mas­sive pe­dophile scan­dal has reached into the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, said Liz Mair, and it should cost La­bor Sec­re­tary Alexan­der Acosta his job. In a ma­jor ex­posé, the Mi­ami Her­ald last week de­tailed how the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem let a se­rial sex abuser, the bil­lion­aire Jef­frey Ep­stein, off the hook after he’d re­cruited and mo­lested more than 80 girls, mostly be­tween the ages of 13 and 16. Ep­stein, a po­lit­i­cally con­nected slime­ball who be­friended both Bill Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump and hired famed lawyer Alan Der­showitz to de­fend him, faced a life sen­tence for his many crimes, which in­cluded an in­ter­na­tional ef­fort to re­cruit un­der­age girls for his sex ring. But Acosta, then the U.S. at­tor­ney in Mi­ami, some­how let Ep­stein plead guilty to just two felony pros­ti­tu­tion charges and gave him a mere 13 months in a county jail. Ep­stein was per­mit­ted to spend most of that sen­tence in work-re­lease at his Palm Beach of­fice. And Acosta and Ep­stein’s lawyers agreed to keep the whole plea deal se­cret. Why? “At best,” Acosta thought the rich and pow­er­ful de­served spe­cial treat­ment. “At worst,” he may be “crooked” and was bought off. Ei­ther way, he should not be head­ing up a fed­eral agency.

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