One prosecutor tried to put Epstein away for decades. Powerful men maneuvered to stop her

MIAMI — When Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty in state court in June 2008 to two sex solicitation charges, which came with an 18-month sentence but avoided tougher federal sex crimes charges as part of a deal with the feds, colleagues of the federal prosecutor who had led the investigation flooded her with congratulations.But Ann Marie Villafaña was in no mood to celebrate.“After all the hell they put me through, I don’t feel like celebrating 18 months,” Villafaña wrote to one colleague about Epstein’s sentence, which became a #MeToo symbol of how rich and powerful sex offenders can evade justic…

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