Twelve House Democrats on Thursday called on the Department of Justice to review admitted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s sweetheart deal executed by Labor Secretary Alex Acosta when he was U.S. Attorney for Florida in 2008, The Hill reports.

Epstein, who was charged this week with child sex trafficking and alleged to have abused dozens of underage girls over a number of years, only served 13 months in prison for felony prostitution charges and received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for life in 2008.

Acosta, though, on Wednesday defended his role in brokering the deal with Epstein, bucking calls to resign.

The Dems’ letter to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said lawmakers were “abhorred by reports of Mr. Epstein’s repeated and longstanding sexual abuse of young girls.”

“This despicable behavior constituted clear criminal activity that could have resulted in a lengthy sentence for Mr. Epstein had charges been vigorously pursued against him at the time. We believe it is of paramount importance that we learn the basis and rationale for the unusual plea deal,” the letter continues, adding lawmakers have “serious misgivings about Secretary Acosta’s handling of the case and whether the Department fairly administered justice.”


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