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Former Florida Prosecutor: Acosta's Account Is 'Wrong'

Barry Krischer pushes back on Acosta's version of what happened with Jeffrey Epstein
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2019 6:17 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2019 6:33 AM CDT
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta points to a question during a news conference at the Department of Labor, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – A former Florida state attorney says Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's account of the plea deal he offered to billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is "completely wrong." Barry Krischer, who was the state attorney for Palm Beach County from 1993 until 2009, says Acosta is trying to "rewrite history" by suggesting Epstein would have walked free if Acosta hadn't intervened as a federal prosecutor, the Hill reports. In a statement issued after the embattled Acosta spoke at a news conference Wednesday, Krischer said the US Attorneys' office had prepared a 53-page indictment that was abandoned after "secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and Mr. Acosta." Federal prosecutors "do not take a back seat to state prosecutors," Krischer said. "That's not how the system works in the real world."

"If Mr. Acosta was truly concerned with the State's case and felt he had to rescue the matter, he would have moved forward with the 53-page indictment that his own office drafted," Krischer said in the statement, per the Daily Beast. "Instead, Mr. Acosta brokered a secret plea deal that resulted in a Non-Prosecution Agreement in violation of the Crime Victim's Rights act." Mediaite points out the Palm Beach chief of police and a detective with the department told the Miami Herald last year that they felt pressured by Krischer to "downgrade the case to a misdemeanor or drop it altogether." Epstein, who was accused of molesting dozens of girls, ended up serving just 13 months on a state charge of soliciting prostitution. The 66-year-old was arrested Saturday and charged with sex trafficking. (Read more Alexander Acosta stories.)

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