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Attorney Joel DeFabio Invokes Infamous Epstein Deal in Federal Case

Attorney Joel DeFabio has filed court papers alleging that his accused client, Miguel Arcangel Hernandez, has become the victim of discrimination. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to 18 serious federal charges associated with his alleged operation of a prostitution ring. Attorney DeFabio, however, is quick to remind the court of its treatment of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein eight years ago.

As the Sun Sentinel recounts, Epstein is a white billionaire who had admitted that he paid underage girls for sex and erotic massages. Epstein, who ran in the same circles as the Clintons and Trumps, then received what's been called a "sweetheart deal" from federal prosecutors: no federal prosecution and less than 18 months of jail for admitting to minor state offenses.

Attorney DeFabio, in turn, wants a similar deal for Hernandez. "[Prosecutors] still haven't addressed the major question: Why is there such a disparity and why did Epstein get such a free ride? Why are they coming down so hard on my client?" DeFabio asked in a recent interview.

DeFabio writes in the court filing that Hernandez is "being prosecuted for allegedly operating an escort service in South Florida where hundreds of escorts services operate openly, advertise in mainstream local media, and are accepted businesses in the tourist industry. All of the women employed by the escort service were willing participants who engaged in the activity for monetary gain," and that, comparatively, there had been more "substantial evidence that Epstein's predatory behavior was aimed at minors who had absolutely no prior involvement in any similar activities."

"Highly Unusual Treatment"

The grounds of Attorney DeFabio's filing rests on a claim of discrimination. It states that Hernandez's prosecution is selective and "was motivated by a discriminatory purpose such as race, religion, economic status, and/or political affiliation." However, prosecutors argue that this not the case.

"Nowhere has [Hernandez] asserted, let alone demonstrated, that Epstein engaged in the same crimes with which he is charged, or the same kinds of conduct underlying the charges against the defendant," they wrote. "Simply put, the prosecution against Hernandez was motivated not by any invidious desire to target white, Hispanic males born in Puerto Rico, but rather by the extensive evidence that Hernandez for years openly ran a profitable prostitution business."

Despite the prosecution's argument, the shadow of the Epstein deal continues to hang over this case and others facing federal prosecution. Former U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, who approved the Epstein deal, has gone on to call it "highly unusual treatment" that undermined the intent of incarceration.

If you are facing a serious federal charge, then the skilled Miami criminal defense attorneys at Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law are ready to hear from you. Our legal team has more than 50 years of combined legal experience and knows that it takes to secure favorable results for our clients both in and outside the courtroom.

Take a proactive approach to your defense and contact our firm today.