New Jeffrey Epstein accuser: He raped me when I was 15 – NBC News

Jennifer Araoz says she was 14 years old when a young woman approached her outside her New York City high school in the fall of 2001.

The woman was friendly and curious, asking Araoz personal questions about her family, her upbringing, their finances. Soon she began talking to Araoz about a man she knew who was kind and wealthy and lived nearby.

His name, the woman said, was Jeffrey Epstein.

The first few times Araoz went to Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, all they did was talk, Araoz said, and the friendly woman came along. Araoz told him about her dream of becoming a Broadway actress and about her late father, who had died of AIDS when she was 12.

Jennifer Araoz, 14, in her middle school graduation portrait.Courtesy of Jennifer Araoz

But on Araoz’s first visit without the other woman, Epstein gave her a tour of his mansion that culminated in a visit to what he described as his “favorite room in the house,” Araoz said. A massage table sat on the floor. A painting of a nude young woman hung from the wall.

Araoz would return to that room regularly over the next year, she said, manipulated into stripping down to her panties and giving Epstein massages that ended with him pleasuring himself to completion and her leaving with $300.

In the fall of 2002, Epstein pressured her to do more, Araoz said. He told her to remove her panties. Then he grabbed her 15-year-old body.

“He raped me, forcefully raped me,” Araoz told NBC News in an exclusive interview. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”

“I was terrified, and I was telling him to stop. ‘Please stop,'” added Araoz, now 32.

Epstein, Araoz said, ignored her pleas. She never returned to his home after that day and her life spiraled downward over the next several years as a result of the trauma, she said.

Epstein, 66, was charged Monday with operating a sex trafficking ring in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005. Federal prosecutors in New York say the wealthy financier, who has socialized with the likes of Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew, sexually abused dozens of minors and paid his victims to recruit others, allowing him to build a vast network of girls to exploit. He entered a plea of not guilty.

Araoz’s account adds a new dimension to the allegations against Epstein: a young girl being recruited outside a New York City school to perform sexual favors for him.

The federal indictment unsealed this week refers to three unidentified victims but none of them is Araoz. She never contacted the authorities to tell her story, but she says she did tell at least four people — her mother, her old boyfriend and two close friends — about the Epstein encounters several years after they occurred.

Reached by NBC News, all four confirmed that she told them years ago that she had been sexually assaulted by Epstein.

“She said that she was raped by Epstein and before the rape she had been giving him massages for a year,” said a friend of 16 years. “There’s no doubt in my mind knowing her character, the type of person she is, that what she says happened is exactly what happened.”

Epstein’s lawyers did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

This isn’t the first time that Epstein has been accused of preying on young girls.

He signed a controversial non-prosecution deal in 2007 that allowed him to dodge a federal indictment alleging he abused several underage girls.


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