Nothing about Jeffrey Epstein's deal with prosectors was remotely normal nbcnews.com/think/opinion/… via @NBCNewsTHINK by @Mimirocah1 & Berit Berger
As former federal prosecutors of over 25y combined who worked on dozens of sex trafficking cases, the treatment of some of the most vulnerable victims by then-USAtty Alex Acosta in the Epstein case is stunning and raises every sort of red flag to @Mimirocah1 & Berit Berger.
Judge Marra’s detailed description of how things unfolded makes clear that this was a calculated plan by the prosecutor in charge — Acosta — acting in concert w Epstein’s defense attys to hide a plea agreement from young victims...
WHY SO SECRETIVE?
 they didn’t want bad publicity for Epstein
 they did not want other perpetrators exposed
 they did not want the victims to object
Or all of the above
Any one of these motivations would be contrary to the practices and instincts of the prosecutors with whom Roach & Berger have worked to not cater to powerful defendants, but hold them to the same standards applied in every criminal case.
Acosta’s actions are even more egregious when considering the accusations in the case:
 For 6 years, Epstein allegedly ran a sex trafficking ring that preyed on more than 30 documented [over 100] girls, some only 13 & personally raped and sexually assaulted many of them.
 Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to state, not federal, charges pursuant to a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in 2015 and received a shockingly lenient sentence.
An NPA typically allows a defendant to resolve his or her case without any admission of wrongdoing, as the government agrees not to prosecute the defendant or to drop charges that had previously been brought.
An NPA is a significant benefit to defendants — they don’t have to admit the specifics of what they did wrong — and potentially a blow to victims, because they get no chance to confront the defendant in court and no closure from an admission of guilt.
Judge Marra rightly noted in his ruling that prosecutors had discretion to enter into this kind of agreement with Epstein, but was extremely critical of the process by which they did that because, he said, they intentionally violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA)
CVRA provides certain specific rights to victims, including
 the right to be heard at any public proceeding in the district court
 the right to confer with the prosecutors
 the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for their dignity.
Judge Marra determined that prosecutors violated those provisions because:

“the office never conferred with the victims about a NPA or told the victims that such an agreement was under consideration”
INSTEAD
“mislead the victims to believe that federal prosecution was still a possibility” when they had already decided against it and informed Epstein's defense lawyers of that fact.

(👋🏼@AlanDersh )
Epstein also seems to have violated departmental policy:
The USAtty’s Manual specifically says that when prosecutors are considering whether to offer a defendant a NPA, they must consider not only the defendant’s culpability,
⇨but the interests of any victims.
It’s hard to see how Epstein's victims’ interests were considered when they weren’t even told of the agreement.

Judge Mara’s decision that prosecutors violated federal law, what comes next?
OPR can make criminal referrals to the department's OIG, if warranted.

In addition, referrals could be made to the relevant attorney bar associations, to allow them EXAMINE THE CONDUCT of the DEFENSE ATTORNEYS involved in the conduct the judge has found to violate the law.
It also seems untenable for @SecretaryAcosta to be allowed to remain in his position as head of the Dept of Labor — a federal agency w SIGNIFICANT ROLE to play in COMBATING & PROSECUTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING CASES & protecting the rights of minors.

He should be fired or resign.
Most significantly, Epstein and ANYONE ELSE involved in this crime need to be held FULLY ACCOUNTABLE and the rights of the victims fully vindicated.
Judge Marra has already ruled that the CVRA authorizes
⭐️“the rescission or ‘reopening’ of a prosecutorial agreement, including a non-prosecution agreement, reached in violation of a prosecutor’s conferral obligations under the statute.”
Judge Marra seems to be suggesting that Epstein’s agreement be voided and the federal investigation reopened. (Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has called for DOJ to do just that.)
given the many deficiencies in the NPA — most notably the systematic exclusion of victims from the resolution of this case, DOJ should reopen the investigation, and assign it to another U.S. attorney’s office or an arm of the DOJ.
The only way to preserve the integrity of this case is for a clean set of eyes to review the facts and ensure that justice is done.
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