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Attorney General Loretta Lynch blocks prosecution of Bill Allen for child sex crimes

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Lynch, speaking on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, said her decision was based on weaknesses in the potential case, not an immunity agreement with Allen.

Top officials at the Justice Department vetoed Allen’s prosecution on sex crimes in 2010 in spite of an investigation by the FBI and Anchorage Police Department that the leading police officer called “very solid.” And two previous requests by the state were denied by the federal government without much explanation, Richards said at a February news conference.

* PDF icon Read a copy of the U.S. Attorney General’s letter

In her letter to Richards, Lynch wrote that “we continue to conclude it would be inappropriate — and that it would undermine the administration of justice — to cross-designate state prosecutors as federal prosecutors to investigate and prosecute this matter after the department has already determined it did not meet the principles of federal prosecution.”

She added that her department’s decision not to prosecute Allen was not based on “any non-prosecution promise, or agreement between the government and Mr. Allen,” contradicting speculation by some Alaskans that Allen had been offered immunity in exchange for his cooperation with the case against the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

Anchorage Police detectives said the federal Mann Act, which bars interstate transportation of a person for prostitution, was the only appropriate tool to prosecute Allen, not state law. A witness said she was working as an underage prostitute in Spenard when Bill Allen first picked her up. She said she told him her age. She said he later paid to fly her from Washington state, where she had moved, to Anchorage, for sex visits at an Anchorage hotel.

A federal prosecutor had agreed with the Anchorage detectives that prosecution was justified, but was overruled by his superiors. State prosecutors can’t use federal law unless they’re deputized, or “cross-designated,” by the Justice Department. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, recently amended the Mann Act to force the department to provide a “detailed reason” for rejecting a cross-designation request.

Through his attorneys, Bill Allen has denied wrong doing.

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(c)2016 the Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, Alaska)

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