Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, located in a small town near New York City, is known for it’s beautiful landscaping and peace and quiet.
The quiet stability was a perfect setting to offer the emotionally troubled teenagers a place to go.
Hawthorne, which is located in the town of Mount Pleasant, had a hidden secret. Within the past few years, an unusually high rate of teenagers were labeled as missing from its property.
Advocates for children, as well as police officials and the Staff a the rehabilitation center, said they knew that some of the missing residents were victims of sex traffickers.
The irony is that so many of the girls in the rehabilitation center had been purposely placed at Hawthorne to rescue them from the sex trade.
This week, Nineteen people were charged in a sex-trafficking ring that exploited girls as young as 13 years old.
So many of the young female victims were girls that had been in the child welfare system.
According to prosecutors, at least 15 victims were in the child welfare system, including nine who were residents of Hawthorne.
Hubert Dupigny, age 34, also a defendant name in the suit, allegedly recruited a 16-year-old girl from Hawthorne who worked for him as a prostitute until he was arrested in December 2016. After that, the girl was forced to work for his brother, Hensley Dupigny, age 29, who posted advertisements for her on a sex trafficking site and took the money she earned from being a sex slave.