He has been heavily criticized for his handling of the case of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
US Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on Friday that he would resign after facing heavy criticism for his role in granting a light sentence to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein, a money manager whose source of wealth is mysterious, was indicted in 2007 in connection with allegations that he sexually abused dozens of underage girls at his Palm Beach, Florida, mansion. But prosecutors under Acosta, then the US attorney for Miami, cut a deal with Epstein allowing him to serve just 13 months in a county jail.
Criticism of Acosta has been growing since last year, when Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald first reported on the deal. Calls for the labor secretary’s resignation intensified this week, after Epstein was arrested and indicted on new sex trafficking charges in New York. Lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had called for Acosta to step down.
On Friday, Acosta heeded those calls, announcing in an appearance with President Trump that he did not want the Epstein case to distract from the administration’s accomplishments, according to CBS. Trump said the resignation was entirely Acosta’s decision.
Acosta’s resignation means that the man who helped give Epstein a pass on prison is no longer in charge of a government agency that oversees, among other things, visas for sex trafficking victims. But for the dozens of women who say Epstein abused them, the fight is far from over.