Bad News for Jeffrey Epstein: Prosecutors Want to Talk to His Underage Victims

The sweetheart deal doled out to billionaire pedophile and one-time Trump pal Jeffrey Epstein remains a high-scrutinized issue in federal court. The 66-year-old Epstein avoided serious jail-time for charges of human trafficking and sexually assaulting dozens of underage girls by pleading guilty to state charges back in 2008.

Attorneys representing Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 sued the government and the two sides continue to be locked in a dispute. Prosecutors handling that case filed a motion Friday requesting that U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra grant them a delay to meet with some of Epstein’s victims. The delay is said to have potential to delay the case by over a year.

In court papers, the prosecutors wrote that, “victims’ views and concerns are critical to inform the government’s recommendation of an appropriate remedy, particularly given the sensitive nature of the crime at issue.”

Lawyers for some of the victims, however, have expressed concerns that such a delay may have the unintended consequence of helping Epstein. To mitigate their concerns, the attorneys have proposed using the time to depose Secretary Acosta regarding his role in the Epstein deal.

Instead of facing a potential life sentence, then-Miami U.S. Attorney and current Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta allowed Epstein to enter a secret plea to just one count of soliciting prostitution. The unusually-lenient deal resulted in Epstein’s spending a quick 13 months in Palm Beach county jail. Epstein was released in 2009 after serving his sentence, which included liberal work-release provisions.

Last February, Secretary Acosta came under fire when Judge Marra ruled that Epstein’s plea deal violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, because Acosta failed to inform Epstein’s more than 80 victims about it. According to reports, Acosta purposely concealed the details of Epstein’s deal in an effort to minimize opposition from his underage victims.

Upon discovering the irregularities in the Epstein deal, the Department of Justice initiated a thorough investigation and filed suit in an effort to throw the deal out altogether.

[Image via Florida Department of Law Enforcement]

Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. She is a frequent media contributor, and is Of Counsel to Smedley & Lis, in Woodbury, New Jersey. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos

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