President Donald Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, has found himself in hot water. Acosta, a man who Trump wants to entrust with an entire federal department, is currently being sued for letting a billionaire party boy off the hook for child sexual abuse when he served as a federal prosecutor in 2007.
Acosta’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin today.
Acosta was serving in Miami when Jeffrey Epstein, aged 64, was accused of sexually abusing more than forty underage girls, mainly between the ages of 13 and 17.
Despite his own team advocating for an indictment (they drafted an 82 page prosecution memo and 53 page indictment) and seeking a severe sentence in court, Acosta reached an absurdly light plea deal with Epstein.
Epstein pled guilty to the felony of soliciting sex with minors – totally ignoring a mountain of evidence that he actually had sex with minors – and received a 13 month prison sentence. Epstein also registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to victims’ families.
If Acosta had prosecuted, Epstein would be facing a life sentence under federal felony law.
Former Palm Beach police chief Michael Reiter, who oversaw the initial investigation before the FBI took over, criticized the plea deal. He is a witness in the lawsuit against Acosta and gave damning testimony in his depositions.
Reiter explained that, “that typically these kinds of cases with one victim would end up in a ten-year sentence.” Epstein could have been charged with crimes against forty victims.
Reiter concludes that Acosta’s decision to list relatively minor charges and reach a plea deal with an outrageously light sentence, “wasn’t an appropriate resolution of this matter.” He sent a letter to the victims’ families telling them that justice has not been served.
Trump is also involved in the lawsuit. He is being called as witness.
Trump is a longtime friend of Epstein and even publicly joked about Epstein’s abuse of underage girls. In 2002 Trump said Epstein is a “terrific guy,” and “a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Acosta was a corrupt prosecutor who let Trump’s good friend get away with child sexual abuse on a horrific scale. Now Trump is rewarding Acosta with a powerful government job. The cronyism is Trump’s cabinet is reminiscent of an unscrupulous dictatorship, not a well-established democracy.
Acosta is only the latest villain to pulled into Trump’s White House.
What do you think?
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.