So weeks go by and then months go by.
And finally, in , the victims learn that there will be no federal criminal indictment against Epstein. Unbeknown to the victims, behind the scenes, Epstein and his high-powered defense lawyers had negotiated with federal prosecutors so that they would not charge him in federal court.
They negotiated what is called a non-prosecution agreement. And so in the end, Epstein pleaded guilty to a single count of soliciting prostitution in state court.
Illinois Corruption Watch: December 2014
He had to register as a sex offender. He had to pay financial restitution to some of his victims. And he got 18 months in county jail, in which he could leave six days a week to go to work. It raised eyebrows even at the time, but the prosecutor said it was how they were going to guarantee that Epstein served some time in jail and that he register as a sex offender, which they viewed as important to help the community around him.
So the local police brought this case originally to the F. Prosecutors would tell you that they did their best, and that meant sending Epstein to jail. But, in the end, he faced a prostitution charge in state court and not a sex trafficking charge in federal court. The victims were not given a chance to speak up against this agreement before it was signed. The victims are outraged.
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And as soon as they find out about this non-prosecution deal in , they go to court asking for the agreement to be nullified — for them to get their day in court. And this argument turns into years of legal battles over what was negotiated in secret that the victims did not know about.
Epstein gets out of jail about five months early. He reportedly has a party to celebrate his return to society. And he has to register as a sex offender. But, other than that, he basically goes back to his old life. He had his lavish lifestyle that he continued — traveling between his properties in New York and Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands. And the case kind of receded from public view for years, until President Trump asks Alex Acosta, the former top prosecutor in Miami who reached the secret deal not to indict Epstein with federal charges, to be his labor secretary.
And so reporters like myself start looking into the case again. What is the reason why a deal of this kind has this specification that it will not be made part of any public record? At the end of this case, I received a telephone call from the special agent in charge of the F. And he called to just say, congratulations. This was really hard-fought and well-won. And that the outcome was positive, because Epstein went to jail and had to register as a sex offender, and that that would help protect the community.
You are aware that Mr. Epstein served that 13 months. He was allowed out during the day, and he had to sleep at a county jail, but he was basically allowed to move and go around the community and do whatever he wants. And then that became a subject of significant criticism. Despite those questions, Acosta gets confirmed by the Senate and becomes the labor secretary, which he still is now. And that, perhaps, these victims, who are now young women, might be willing to talk publicly for the first time. The Herald is reporting that Acosta gave a sweetheart deal to a wealthy man accused of sex crimes, including sexually abusing underage girls.
The paper found that as a U. I was young. I was scared. I knew these people were powerful. That year-old girl just let it happen.
Blue Island, IL Registered Sex Offenders in Cook County
It takes a long time to start the healing process. I mean, I will never heal. There are pieces for me that can never be put back together. And the combination of the behind-the-scenes communications about this agreement and the additional victims and the victims putting a face and details to these allegations starts to build new public pressure for something to be done in the case.
That lawsuit that the victims in Florida had filed seeking to invalidate the secret non-prosecution agreement, a judge finally issues a ruling. He says the prosecutors made a mistake in not letting them know that this was being negotiated. And by prosecutors, you mean Alex Acosta, who is now the United States labor secretary. Is that what led the U.
That case is still pending in Florida. What we do know is that the prosecutor in New York apparently found a new victim in his jurisdiction. And that seems to be a primary driver in his decision to pursue this case now. We know that he went out of his way to say on Monday that the non-prosecution agreement in Florida does not apply to them in New York.
But it is key to note that they have found a victim there, and so that gives a new dimension to their findings. It seems like the U. It sounded like the U.
And that now, he has another shot. They get a do-over here, and they plan to take it. And they have a chance to make things right for all these victims after all these years. What do you make of these latest developments? Actually, the former police chief in Palm Beach, whose department first started investigating this, has said that what he would really like to see here, in addition to an apology to the victims, who did not get what he would consider timely justice, he would like to see lawmakers keep that from happening again.
He would like to make it impossible for prosecutors to treat minors like prostitutes in future cases like this one, to prevent what he considers was a miscarriage of justice. He is in jail in New York — and not the kind of jail where you could leave every day to go to work like he was in Florida. He is not chastened. He is not repentant. Rather, he is a continuing danger to the community. Barr declined to comment. The lawyers had been asked to defend the question despite a recent ruling by the Supreme Court that found that there was no legal basis for including the question.
And in Sudan, military leaders and protesters have reached an unexpected agreement to share power after the military carried out a deadly crackdown on the protesters. Under the agreement, an army general will run Sudan for nearly two years, followed by a civilian leader for the next year and a half. The plan offers the possibility of an eventual transition to democracy after 30 years of dictatorship.
Eric Holland, the deputy assistant secretary of labor for public affairs, said on Monday that Mr.
Acosta had no comment.