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Appeals court gives Epstein victims another chance to challenge plea deal


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An appeals court ruled on Friday that victims of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein will get another chance in court to argue that the Justice Department violated their rights when Florida prosecutors inked a sweetheart deal with the wealthy financier more than a decade ago. 

Courtney Wild has argued that DOJ lawyers violated her rights and the rights of dozens of Epstein’s victims under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 by reaching a nonprosecution agreement with Epstein’s high-power defense team without consulting with or informing the victims. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled on Friday that it was vacating a 2-1 ruling made by a three-judge appeals court panel that had shot down Wild’s argument and is granting an en banc review to be heard by the full appeals court. 

Wild filed a petition with the appeals court in October after U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra’s ruling in February 2019 that she and dozens of other Epstein victims were not entitled to relief even though the same judge had also ruled that Justice Department prosecutors, including now-former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, had violated the rights of Epstein’s victims by concealing the nonprosecution agreement from them. 

The three-judge appeals court panel agreed with Marra in April, but the full appeals court will give Wild another shot at arguing in favor of invalidating the agreement. 

Wild's latest petition, filed in October, challenged the 2007 nonprosecution agreement that Acosta helped negotiate, saying it violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act because she and other alleged victims were not consulted before the deal was struck.:snip:
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