Friday, 19 July, 2019

Epstein accused of witness tampering in sex trafficking case

While President Trump is due in Hunting Valley for a private campaign fundraiser Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is laboring to keep his job and explain the 2008 sweetheart deal he gave politically connected Jeffrey Epstein when facing sex trafficking Trump due in Cleveland, Acosta in trouble: Darcy cartoon
Steven Clarke | 14 July, 2019, 06:46

Federal prosecutors in NY unsealed a new criminal indictment Monday charging Epstein with operating a sex trafficking ring in which he allegedly sexually abused dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, in NY in Florida.

Labor Secretary Acosta has now resigned after laboring to keep his job and reputation after the indictment in NY of Epstein and his press conference giving a dubious defense of the sweetheart plea deal he gave Epstein in 2008 when Acosta was acting U.S. Attorney in Miami.

The filing argued against granting Epstein bail, offering the payments as evidence that he might try to influence witnesses if he is not detained prior to his trail.

Prosecutors said in court papers that Epstein poses a flight risk and could use his wealth to tamper with the investigation, pointing to the payments to the two possible witnesses.

The office also has been in contact with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY, where Epstein was jailed on new federal charges that are similar to those in the 2008 case.

In the latest charges, federal authorities said in a July 8 indictment (pdf) that he sexually abused and exploited dozens of girls, some as young as 14, in NY and Florida from about 2002 to 2005.

Though he's never been arrested here, Epstein has previously been accused in civil litigation and affidavits of sexually abusing underage girls at his Zorro Ranch in southern Santa Fe County.

In seeking to keep the multimillionaire jailed pending trial, prosecutors in NY argued Epstein had a history of trying to obstruct inquiries into his misdeeds, including those from journalists.

Epstein faces a bail hearing Monday in Manhattan federal court.

Wimbledon: Haelp beats Serena Williams for 2nd Grand Slam title
As for Williams, she surely has to try and reduce the noise and whole circus around her if she is to win another Grand Slam . I love coming out here, playing in front of you guys. "I'm desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop her", she said .

In a statement Friday, Jack Scarola, an attorney in Palm Beach who represents some of Epstein's accusers called Acosta's decision to leave his post in President Trump's Cabinet "very good news".

He said that Acosta's troubles were not going away any time soon, and it wasn't like Acosta was the Attorney General or Secretary of State.

"My point here today is we have an unbelievable economy, and the focus needs to be on the economy", he said. Elected officials and others are calling for the former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, who oversaw Epstein's deal, to resign from his current position as the federal Labor Department secretary. Brown spoke to Epstein's accusers, who, as she reported a year ago, "believe they were betrayed by the very prosecutors who pledged to protect them".

Federal authorities are seeking to block Epstein's release as he awaits trial stemming from charges brought against him earlier this week. Epstein was once a friend of Donald Trump before he became president, and ex-president Bill Clinton - both of whom have distanced themselves from the financier recently.

Epstein, 66, reached the plea deal in Florida in 2008 to secretly end a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls that could have landed him behind bars for life. He has pleaded not guilty.

U.S. Attorney's Office produced a 53-page indictment that was abandoned after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein's lawyer and Mr. Acosta.

A mansion belonging to Jeffrey Epstein at East 71st street is seen on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on July 8, 2019 in New York City.

This came just days after Acosta held a press conference in which he defended his role in getting convicted child abuser Jeffrey Epstein a ludicrously light plea agreement back in 2007.

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