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“intentional and/or serious lapse in judgment’’
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 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. Senior U.S. District Court Judge William J. Zloch copied Acosta on his order, noting, “The court is at a total loss as to why the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, as well as the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the above-styled cause, found it appropriate to intentionally withhold ... information from the court.’’ Read more here: www.miamiherald.com...=cpy
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafana wrote to Epstein lawyer Jay Lefkowitz in a Sept. 19, 2007, email. "I will include our standard language regarding resolving all criminal liability and I will mention 'co-conspirators,' but I would prefer not to highlight for the judge all of the other crimes and all of the other persons that we could charge ... maybe we can set a time to meet, if you want to meet 'off campus' somewhere, that is fine. I will make sure that I have all the necessary decision makers present or 'on call' as well."