WashingtonAfter the serious allegations of abuse against entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein, US Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigns. This was announced by US President Donald Trump on Friday, according to reporters in the presence of Acosta. Trump said it was the minister's decision.
For his part in the Epstein affair, Acosta had come under increasing pressure in recent days. Background is a controversial deal more than ten years ago, the Epstein saved a lawsuit in federal court – and the Acosta as then prosecutor in Florida agreed.
His office had intervened at the time, so that Epstein at the state level, not only insufficiently punished, said Acosta on Wednesday. Otherwise, Epstein might have got off without a jail sentence, he argued. "We believe we did it right," said Acosta. "We did what we did because we wanted Epstein to go to jail."
The heavy-hearted businessman escaped federal trial in 2008 for allegations of abuse by entering into an agreement with the state prosecutor to protect him from further investigation. At the time, Epstein pleaded guilty to providing clients with underage prostitutes and served a 13-month prison sentence, sometimes in relaxed conditions. In return, he came without trial before a federal court.
Because Acosta approved this procedure as a prosecutor in Florida, US Democrats called for his resignation. They criticize, with the deal was Epstein too mild and escaped a just punishment. Acosta said he could understand that there was displeasure with the punishment at that time. His team and he would have had a higher penalty for Epstein at the time. What the victims would have gone through would be terrible.
The multiple demand of journalists, whether he wanted to apologize to Epstein victims, dodged Acosta. He welcomed that there was now an investigation in New York against Epstein and stressed: "He is a bad man and belongs behind bars." US President Trump had taken Acosta on Tuesday against the demands for resignation in protection and said that this is an "excellent "Minister who has done a" fantastic "job over the past two and a half years.
The New York Procuratorate had raised new allegations against Epstein on Monday. She accuses him of abusing dozens of minor girls. The 66-year-old had between 2002 and 2005 in New York and Florida built an illegal sex trade ring, it said in the indictment. Some of the girls were only 14 years old and had been lured into large sums of money and tempted to bring more girls. Epstein pleaded not guilty.
More: Read more about the lawsuit against billionaire Epstein.