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Settlement in Epstein civil lawsuit; Congresswoman calls for investigation into 2008 plea deal

Posted at 9:41 AM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 18:49:32-05

A settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Palm Beach County.

Jack Scarola, an attorney for Bradley Edwards, who was seeking unspecified damages from Epstein, announced in court on Tuesday that a financial settlement has been reached, but the details are confidential.

The deal came on the same day jury selection was set to begin in the civil case.

Epstein was accused of luring underage girls into a life of sexual abuse. The 65-year-old pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges and served 13 months in jail, although he was allowed to leave during the week to go to work. He also became a registered sex offender.

That plea deal with federal prosecutors was led by now-Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

Edwards, who represented some of the alleged victims in the Epstein case, claimed Epstein tried to damage his reputation by suing him.

Some of Epstein's alleged victims were expected to testify at this civil trial.

In court on Tuesday, Epstein's attorney read back an apology letter from Epstein to Edwards.

"What happened today was a win," said Edwards at a news conference after the settlement was announced.

On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic Congresswoman Lois Frankel held a news conference, discussing her concerns over that 2008 plea deal led by Secretary Acosta.

"We are hoping for transparency," said Rep. Frankel. "It is just a shocking plea agreement."

Congresswoman Frankel and 11 of her colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Inspector General Michael Horowitz, urging him to conduct a thorough investigation into whether any Department of Justice policies, procedures, or practices were violated by Secretary Acosta.

"If the Justice Department doesn't move forward with an investigation, we will take this to the appropriate committees," said Rep. Frankel. "Any committee that deals with the trafficking of minors."