Well, that pretty much sums up what Epstein did.
You don't even need to burn passports, you can psychologically manipulate, threaten, beat up, hook on drugs, pass to friends, parade your powerful connections (event to the law), explain how they have no alternatives, and so on.
Especially if you're a ultra-rich mogul with personal guards and powerful friends, and they're some teenage girl from some poor eastern european family that you promise money or to get "exposure", and so on...
"(...) The girls he allegedly abused were largely from troubled backgrounds, either in the foster care system, from broken families, or below the poverty line".
-- and as young as 14 year old, at that. Does "convince" really apply?
>Did he actually do all those other things, beatings, threatening?
(...) Multiple women say they attempted to refuse Epstein, but to no avail.
“I was terrified and I was telling him to stop,” said Araoz, recounting one visit during which Epstein raped her.
“If I left Epstein … he could have had me killed or abducted, and I always knew he was capable of that if I did not obey him,” another alleged victim, Virginia Roberts, said during a hearing.
14 year olds, too - but those "assistants" presumably were older.
Threats - threats are threats, going beyond "manipulation".
I'm struggling to understand your motivations. This should be a clear and obvious case of someone who was really fucked up, did fucked up things, and deserves nobody in polite society defending him.
And yet here we are having this discussion, somehow.
I asked a question about a paragraph describing a scene of a guy visiting MIT Media Lab with young assistants (not teens, they were described s young women), and Media lab staff being concerned.
I did not have the context of Epstein already being convicted as a sex offender.
There was nothing in that paragraph about Epstein having sex with teens, and I didn't mention that, either.
I am merely of the opinion that in general, young women from Eastern Europe should also be allowed to work as assistants for old men. That doesn't imply I endorse older men taking advantage of teens.
You can't remove this question from its context. The people at MIT Media Lab who were worried about it certainly were aware of the context, and they were worried, but ultimately forced to go along with it because their boss wanted the money too badly.
Also, enough with the "just asking questions". Instead of asking lots of questions, just go read the relevant articles and learn the truths directly, rather than requiring people to spoonfeed you through HN comments.
Epstein had sex with girls younger than 18.
But was is against their will?
Epstein is dead, so he does not care if anybody defends him. But if we want to understand how Epstein operated, we should question the accusations.
However, here I didn't even talk about his sex exploits. I only asked about a paragraph about perceiving a man with young assistants.