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'Acosta Enables Sex Trafficking' projected onto the Labor Department building

The Hill logo The Hill 7/11/2019 Zack Budryk
a store front at day: 'Acosta Enables Sex Trafficking' projected onto the Labor Department building © UltraViolet 'Acosta Enables Sex Trafficking' projected onto the Labor Department building

Activists projected condemnations of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on the Department of Labor building Wednesday to protest his role in a controversial non-prosecution agreement with financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested again over the weekend.

Progressive advocacy groups, including CREDO Action, MoveOn, UltraViolet and the American Federation of Teachers, projected the words "Acosta Enabled Sex Trafficking" and "Acosta Must Go" on the building.

"Secretary Acosta's actions in not disclosing the plea deal of a politically well-connected predator to the victims of that predator were illegal and unconscionable. By breaking the law and hiding the deal from victims, he's shown that we cannot trust him," American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.

"A labor secretary is supposed to protect everyday people - Alex Acosta proposed an 80% cut to his department's bureau that combats human trafficking, and gave a sweetheart deal to a known predator," she added.

In 2008, as a U.S. Attorney, Acosta approved a deal that allowed Epstein to serve only 13 months and spend 16 hours a day outside of prison. Epstein was arrested on new federal charges of sex trafficking over the weekend. He has pleaded not guilty.

In a press conference Wednesday, Acosta defended the arrangement.

"We believe that we proceeded appropriately," Acosta told reporters at the Labor Department. "We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail. He needed to go to jail."

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