As the investigation into billionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein continues, local survivors of sex trafficking say justice still must be served for his victims.
Debbie Fowler, who runs "Eyes Wide Open" in Schenectady, says it is critical for survivors who have found the strength to come forward to be heard and have their experiences validated.
Epstein's abrupt death cuts short a criminal case that could have pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of the financier who had connections to celebrities and presidents. Prosecutors have vowed to keep investigating and accusers can sue his estate.
Fowler also wants any one connecting to the alleged sex trafficking held responsible.
"He was not a lone ranger and so really my prayers are that the investigation and those that have been investigated and already found him to be jailed for his allegations — that they will keep going, that this doesn't stop," she said.
Eyes Wide Open provides housing and education to survivors of sex trafficking.
Fowler notes that many of the women they serve were children when they were assaulted and come to her organization for help and healing as adults. She believes many of Epstein’s accusers are recovering from similar circumstances.