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Feds planned to indict Epstein, but retreated from child sex-abuse charges

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In 2007, the U.S. attorney’s office seemed on track to charge Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in a sweeping indictment, accusing him of running a ring to pay underage girls for his sexual pleasure.

But the office’s leader, Alex Acosta, retreated from what appeared to be a strong federal prosecution, bolstered with 40 female victims, and opted to let the state attorney charge Epstein in a streamlined prostitution case involving minors.

The bruising negotiations between Acosta’s office and Epstein’s defense team ended with the U.S. attorney’s decision not to present the 53-page indictment to a federal grand jury.

Instead, Acosta signed off on a non-prosecution agreement that spared Epstein from five federal charges accusing him of an interstate commerce conspiracy to recruit girls from 13 to 17 years old for sex at his Palm Beach mansion. If he had been indicted and convicted by the feds, Epstein could have been sent to prison for the rest of his life.

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1 in 5 New York Kids Are Sexually Abused. Help Prevent That

The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.

9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.

They are protected by New York State laws.

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