Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is unlikely to be charged in relation to a long-running sex-trafficking investigation, The Washington Post reported on Friday.
Career prosecutors reportedly told the Justice Department that a conviction is unlikely due to unreliable witnesses. While a final decision as to whether they will prosecute Gaetz has not been determined, it's rare for a prosecution to move forward in light of such prosecutorial doubt.
"...it is unlikely that federal authorities will charge Gaetz with a crime in an investigation that started in late 2020 and focused on his alleged involvement with a 17-year-old girl several years earlier. Gaetz, 40, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying he has never paid for sex. He has also said the only time he had sex with a 17-year-old was when he was also 17," The Post's report stated.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied that he has paid for sex or had sex with a minor.
"I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward," he told the New York Times in 2021.
“It is verifiably false that I’ve traveled with a 17 year old woman,” he similarly told Politico. “These are lies rooted in extortion, coordinated by a former DOJ official.”
Earlier this year, Stephen Alford, a former FBI agent, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud related to his involvement in an effort to extort $25 million from Gaetz's father.
(Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly claimed that Robert Levinson had pleaded guilty. Levinson, a former FBI agent, disappeared in Iran in 2007. Raw Story regrets the error.)