Local therapist weighs in on impact of Epstein case on other victims of abuse

Photo: Florida Department of Law Enforcement

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT)- (07/08/19)- Authorities say there could as many as 40 possible victims tied to Florida billionaire Jeffery Epstein-- spanning more than a decade.

Epstein is charged with sex trafficking involving young girls.

"The estimated dozens of victims were as young as 14 years old at time of recruitment," said New York Federal Prosecutor.

Paula Archambault is the child and family therapist for Voices for Children, a child advocacy organization in Genesee County.

She says the age of Epstein's alleged victims-- would make them even more susceptible to a predator.

"They are trying to figure out their identity and that makes them more vulnerable to the manipulation by people who want to connect with them, to harm them,"said Voices for Children therapist, Paula Archambault

Epstein is also accused of using some of his alleged victims to recruit other young potential victims.

Armchambault says that tactic is not uncommon.

"It happens throughout our community as well, it covers all social economic levels, all races, all genders. This one was young girls that were primarily targeted, but there are many that target young boys as well," Armchambault said.

But this is not the first time Epstein has faced sex charges involving minors.

In 2008, he stuck a deal agreeing to serve 18 months in county jail on state charges-serving just 13.

Epstein was also allowed to leave jail during the day for work 6 days a week.

A deal made without his victims input.

Something Armchambault says could discourage other victims from coming forward

"It seemed like a lot of people didn't see it as harmful. And almost praised him for it, so yes that would prevent some people from coming forward. But thankfully, there are a lot supportive adults that don't buy into that narrative," Armchambault said.

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