U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra of Palm Beach County, Florida ruled on Friday that federal prosecutors illegally signed a plea deal with Jeffery Epstein, the notorious owner of the ‘Lolita Express.’
“Epstein used paid employees to find and bring minor girls to him,’’ Marra wrote. “Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minors not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others.’’
Epstein was handed a no prosecution deal in 2008 “with then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta’s office to secretly end a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls that could have landed him behind bars for life.”
The monster instead pleaded guilty to state charges, spent a meager 13 months in jail, paid scant settlements to victims and had to register as a sex offender.
Acosta defended the move, “At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor’s office decided that a plea that guarantees someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register generally and guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing,” he said.
Earlier this year, Justice Department officials opened an investigation into federal prosecutors’ handling of the arrangement.
“The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility wrote in a letter to Sen. Ben Sasse that it would examine whether professional misconduct occurred in the highly publicized case of Epstein.
“The letter cited a series of recent articles by the Miami Herald that focused new attention on how the deal came about.
“Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who has twice asked the Justice Department to investigate the case, welcomed the news.”
“Jeffrey Epstein is a child rapist and there’s not a single mom or dad in America who shouldn’t be horrified by the fact that he received a pathetically soft sentence,” Sasse said in an email.
“The victims of Epstein’s child sex trafficking ring deserve this investigation — and so do the American people and members of law enforcement who work to put these kinds of monsters behind bars.”
Many people agree.