Tags: jeffrey epstein | plea deal | federal | prosecutor | florida

Report: Epstein's '08 Plea Deal Prosecutor Is Resigning

jeffrey epstein is flanked by lawyers during a court appearance
(Uma Sanghvi/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 08 August 2019 09:26 PM

The lead federal prosecutor who helped negotiate a lenient 2008 plea deal for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is resigning, the Miami Herald reported.

A. Marie Villafaña's lawyer, Jonathan Biran, confirmed the departure from the Department of Justice, saying she has long planned to move into a legal career in healthcare, and now plans to join the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the Herald reported. 

The resignation comes amid a federal probe into the role she and other federal prosecutors, including her former boss, ex-Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, had in sidelining a 53-page indictment against the wealthy New York investor in favor of a state plea to minor prostitution charges in 2008. 

Epstein, 66, was accused of molesting dozens of underage girls, most of them 14 to 16 years old, at his Palm Beach mansion more than a decade ago. He is now facing federal sex trafficking charges involving young girls in the Southern District of New York.

The DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility is examining whether Acosta, who resigned his Cabinet post last month — and other federal prosecutors involved in the 2007-2008 case — committed misconduct in negotiating the secret pact with Epstein. 

A federal judge in February ruled the prior deal was illegally negotiated because Epstein and federal prosecutors concealed it from his victims, the Herald noted.

Villafaña, 51, has never spoken publicly about the case. The Herald, citing unnamed sources, reported Villafaña disagreed with Acosta's decision granting Epstein and others involved in his activities immunity from federal charges.

"Ms. Villafaña is confident that, when DOJ's internal investigation has been concluded, the department will find that she acted properly in all respects as the lead prosecutor in the federal investigation of Jeffrey Epstein," Biran said.

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The Miami Herald reported the lead federal prosecutor who helped negotiate a lenient 2008 plea deal for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is resigning.
jeffrey epstein, plea deal, federal, prosecutor, florida
Thursday, 08 August 2019 09:26 PM
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