Labor Secretary Alex Acosta continued to defend the controversial plea deal that he arranged over a decade ago which helped Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire pedophile charged with child sex trafficking, receive minimal punishment for sexually assaulting minors.

Speaking to reporters at the Labor Department, Acosta said that while he is “pleased” that federal prosecutors are bringing sex crimes charges against Epstein, he believes that “facts are being overlooked” regarding the 2008 plea deal that Acosta oversaw as then-U.S. District Attorney.

The deal which Epstein took required him to merely plead guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution, register as a sex offender, and serve 13 months in county jail. During his brief stint in prison, Epstein was allowed to spend 12 hours a day, six days a week, in his work office.

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“We believe that we proceeded appropriately,” said Acosta during his hour-long press conference. “We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail. He needed to go to jail.”

Acosta continued to defend the deal, saying that it was prosecutors’ best chance to send Epstein to jail at all and that it was the best outcome he could get at the time. The Labor Secretary said that the matter was originally under state jurisdiction and that if Acosta’s office at the time had not intervened Epstein would have gone free. “The Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office was ready to let Epstein walk free. No jail time. Nothing,” Acosta said.

The Palm Beach state’s attorney at the time, Barry Krischer, issued a statement contradicting Acosta, saying that he was “completely wrong,” and that the state could have moved forward with its own charges.

Now that Epstein is being charged with sex crimes again, many on the left are calling for Acosta’s resignation, saying that the new charges show that Epstein is a true criminal and that he should have been properly prosecuted 11 years ago, which would have saved dozens of young girls from being molested by Epstein in the time since.