Alex Acosta refuses to resign, blames Florida prosecutors for Epstein deal

Posted on Friday, 12th July 2019 @ 01:03 PM by Text Size A | A | A

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Labor Secretary Alex Acosta rejected calls to resign Wednesday, saying he was the one who made sure billionaire Jeffrey Epstein served jail time and registered as a sex offender the first time he was accused of sexually abusing teen girls.

Fighting for his job and his reputation, Mr. Acosta held a rare press conference to defend the decisions he made a decade ago when, as U.S. attorney in Miami, he was involved in that first case against Mr. Epstein.

His prosecutors struck a deal in 2008 to drop their case in exchange for Mr. Epstein’s agreement to plead guilty to a state prostitution charge, to serve time in a work-release program, to register as a sex offender and to pay restitution to victims.

Mr. Acosta said state prosecutors were preparing to pursue even lesser charges until his office stepped in and threatened a heftier indictment.

“Simply put, the Palm Beach state attorney’s office was ready to let Epstein walk free with no jail time. Nothing,” Mr. Acosta said. “Prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable.”

Barry Krischer, who was the Palm Beach state attorney at that time, pushed back on Mr. Acosta’s claims, calling them “completely wrong” and accusing the labor secretary of rewriting history.

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