Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta defended his actions in the 2008 plea deal arranged for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in a Wednesday news conference. Acosta argued that his office proceeded appropriately based on the evidence that got Epstein jail time and registration as a sex offender.
Epstein’s indictment in New York on Monday resurfaced the 12-year-old case, bringing Acosta into the line of fire for an agreement that gave Epstein only 13 months of jail time and six days a week of working in his personal office.
“The Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office was ready to let Epstein walk free,” Acosta said. The Florida grand jury reviewed the evidence and recommended a single charge that included no jail time and no registering Epstein as a sex offender.
“Without [the U.S. Attorney Offices’] involvement, Epstein would have gotten away without charge. We believe that we proceeded appropriately,” Acosta said. “Based on the evidence, there was value to getting a guilty plea and having him