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Photo: Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

A 14-year-old girl was the first to report Jeffrey Epstein in a federal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by the wealthy financier, which indicated other potential underage victims, The Washington Post reported Sunday. Yet he was convicted of soliciting a girl who was aged 16 when the offenses began.

The details: The younger girl believed her case was the one referred to in Epstein's guilty plea, her lawyer told WashPost, which obtained additional information on the case. Epstein's plea resulted in a lighter sentence in 2008 and eased his obligations to register as a sex offender.

What they're saying: “They were cutting a plea deal. It wasn’t a prosecution,” the younger girl's attorney Spencer Kuvin told WashPost. “They had a grab bag of 40 girls [accusing Epstein] to choose from.”

Why it matters: The Miami Herald reported in November allegations concerning a sweetheart plea deal between federal prosecutors and Epstein in which he averted federal prosecution for his participation in an international sex operation. In February, a judge ruled the prosecutors had broken the law in doing so. One of those prosecutors was Alexander Acosta — now President Trump's labor secretary. In New York this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit signaled it was looking at unsealing documents that could elucidate more on the teen sex trafficking case, Bloomberg Law reported.


Go deeper: Judge rules prosecutors broke federal law in Jeffrey Epstein case

Go deeper

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 16 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."