Jessica Wilde is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.
Financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday and charged with new counts of sex trafficking. Epstein was previously investigated for alleged sex crimes, a controversial case that ended when he signed a nonprosecution agreement and served a 13-month jail sentence, with generous “work-release” privileges. In his article for the Scholar’s summer issue, Scott W. Stern refers to the Epstein case in highlighting the complexity of prostitution laws in the United States, which often make no distinction between consensual sex workers and trafficked ones—meaning that many trafficking victims are arrested and prosecuted while the men who solicit sex are let off the hook. “Trafficking survivors are likelier to go to the authorities,” he writes, “if they won’t be thrown in prison—or deported—as a result.”