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Justice Department: Former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta used 'poor judgment' in handing Jeffrey Epstein case

No action taken against Acosta, others involved
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Posted at 4:55 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 00:09:04-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Justice Department review of the controversial non-prosecution agreement with the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein concluded former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta exercised "poor judgment" in handling the case, according to a summary of the report released Thursday.

The report also found Acosta "failed to ensure that victims were made aware of a court proceeding that was related to their own cases, and thus he failed to ensure that victims were treated with forthrightness and dignity."

The non-prosecution agreement, or NPA, allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state charges in Palm Beach County of soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution. Epstein's victims were not told of the plea deal prior to bringing it before a judge.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: The Jeffrey Epstein Case

While the report found "Acosta to responsible for the NPA and for actions of the other subjects who implemented his decisions," it did not recommend taking any action against any of those involved in negotiating the plea deal.

Reacting over Zoom late Thursday afternoon, attorney Jack Scarola, who's represented several Epstein accusers, told Contact 5 he found the report "disappointing."

"There are many unanswered questions with regard to the manner in which Jeffery Epstein was treated," Scarolla said. "This investigation did not address any of those significant issues."

Contact 5 also spoke with Spencer Kuvin, a lawyer who has also worked on behalf of Epstein's accusers.

"They're frustrated because throughout this process, while the U.S. government is willing to take responsibility for their failures, they're not willing to do anything about it," Kuvin said in an interview.

Epstein was eventually brought up on federal sex trafficking charges in the summer of 2019. He was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on Aug. 10, 2019.

Epstein's former girlfriend and longtime confidant, Ghislaine Maxwell, was charged this summer for her alleged involvement in the exploitation and sexual abuse of young girls with Epstein. She's currently incarcerated awaiting trial, has pleaded not guilty and denies the allegations.

READ THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE DOJ REPORT HERE:


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