How Jeffrey Epstein allegedly targeted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds who were most vulnerable to abuse

Many of financier Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged underage victims were “particularly vulnerable to exploitation,” prosecutors said this week — and research on sex-trafficking survivors bears out their claim.

Authorities on Saturday charged Epstein, a multimillionaire hedge-fund manager with social ties to Bill Clinton and President Trump, with sex trafficking of minors. In an indictment unsealed this week, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York accused Epstein of sexually abusing and exploiting “dozens” of girls as young as 14 in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., from 2002 to 2005 in exchange for hundreds in cash.

One study examining the role of gangs in San Diego sex trafficking found that a majority of facilitators relied ‘less on physical coercion than on exploitation of socioeconomic vulnerability, prior abuse in the home, drug addiction, and mental health issues.

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