Nine months before cutting a covert plea deal with sex trafficking suspect Jeffrey Epstein, Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta was notified that the lead prosecutor in Epstein’s case had concealed victim information in another underage sex crimes case, the Miami Herald has learned.
The prosecutor, A. Marie Villafaña, was harshly rebuked by a federal judge in January 2007 for what he called her “intentional and/or serious lapse in judgment’’ when she failed to explicitly inform him that the defendant, a Texas man who traveled to Florida to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, had a prior history of predatory behavior with minors, court records show.
Acosta, her boss at the time, not only knew about Villafaña’s breach, but records show that he subsequently defended it. Acosta assigned another prosecutor in his office to write a treatise for the judge in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade him to soften the stinging language in his order.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.