Report: No sex trafficking charges likely against Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz.

gaetz
Career prosecutors say two central witnesses carry too many credibility problems.

Federal career prosecutors are not recommending any sex trafficking charges against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, according to The Washington Post.

That likely means Gaetz will not face charges in U.S. District Court related to allegations he transported a minor across state lines. While a final decision has not yet been made by U.S. District Attorneys handling the case, the Post notes that it is rare that career prosecutors ignore such recommendations.

Sources told the Post that any case against Gaetz ultimately relies on witness testimony from two individuals who lack credibility.

For a year and a half, Gaetz has been dogged by accusations he traveled with a 17-year-old in a “sugar daddy-sugar baby” relationship and had sex in exchange for trips, gifts and payments. Venmo records and text messages made public show Gaetz sent money to former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg using Venmo, and Greenberg later sent the same money to different women with messages like “school” or “tuition” listed as purposes.

Greenberg last year pleaded guilty to six federal charges including a charge of sex trafficking a minor. But his sentencing has been repeatedly delayed as Greenberg cooperated with prosecutors on other investigations.

In the plea agreement, Greenberg admitted paying to have sex with a minor and introducing the minor to other adult men, although no names were mentioned. Greenberg requested the subsequent sentencing delays to give him more time to work with federal law enforcement.

The New York Times reported in March 2021 that further investigations could ensnare Gaetz, a friend and close associate of Greenberg’s.

Gaetz has said he regretted his association with Greenberg but has denied ever paying for sex. He also has denied ever having sex with anyone underage as an adult. Since reports of allegations surfaced, Gaetz has married Ginger Luckey, a relationship that predates accusations.

The Congressman has long asserted the allegations were bogus and a premise instead for an extortion plot against his family, including father Don Gaetz, a former Florida Senate President. Stephen Alford was indicted in August 2021 on a wire fraud charge, with prosecutors saying he attempted to defraud an unnamed victim of $25 million between March and April.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


6 comments

  • PeterH

    September 23, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Like father like son!

    It doesn’t change the fact that Gaetz is the most inept clown representing Florida. He has no political future outside of representing a small contingency of trailer park voters who will continue to keep him in the House. There will never be a Senate seat or run for Presidency!

    Reply

  • Charlie Crist

    September 23, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Conservatives are a national security threat.. shouldn’t be allowed to hold office in the federal government.

    Reply

    • Hope

      September 23, 2022 at 1:29 pm

      Good! Now they can focus on the real Criminal, Sybil.

      Reply

      • Charlie Crist

        September 23, 2022 at 1:42 pm

        Never heard of Sybil. Probably just a pebble on the mountain of faulty conclusions that sums up your life. We will call this “Mount Stupid.”

        Reply

  • Ocean Joe

    September 24, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Gaetz escapes justice because the guy who fingered him is even dirtier than he is, and the underage girl is alleged to be uncredible, probably after changing her story. Greenberg, a Republican who wanted county tax collector employees to carry guns, managed to game the feds into numerous continuances, claiming he’d cooperate, and now they admit a jury would have trouble basing a conviction on his testimony.
    Turns out Gaetz didn’t need that pardon he begged for from Trump after all, but asking for it says it all.

    Reply

  • It's Complicated

    September 26, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    No, he didn’t escape justice. If they had anything whatsoever on Gaetz you can bet they would prosecute him. They don’t have anything on him. By all accounts his accusers are not credible.
    Is he a cad? Certainly. Now that he’s married maybe he’ll reign in his morals a bit.

    Reply

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