Lead U.S. Prosecutor In ’08 Epstein Case — Who Sources Say Wanted To Charge Him — Resigns
A. Marie Villafaña, the lead federal prosecutor who helped negotiate a controversial plea deal for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, has submitted her resignation to the Justice Department, the Miami Herald has learned.
Her departure comes amid a federal probe into the role she and other federal prosecutors, including her former boss, 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 minors brought against him last month by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is examining whether Acosta, who resigned his cabinet post as secretary of labor last month — and other U.S. prosecutors involved in the 2007-2008 case — committed misconduct in negotiating the secret pact with Epstein. A federal judge in February ruled that the prior deal was illegally negotiated because Epstein and federal prosecutors concealed it from his victims in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.