A New York woman has come forward for the first time Wednesday detailing how Jeffrey Epstein allegedly raped her at his Manhattan townhouse in 2002 when she was 15 years old.
Jennifer Araoz, now 32, spoke to Today’s Savannah Guthrie recounting how when she was 14 years old, a woman “recruited” her to Epstein’s house, where she was told to give the billionaire financier a massage wearing only her underwear while he masturbated.
One day when she was 15, she said he forcefully pulled her on to the massage table and raped her.
Epstein was charged earlier this week with running a sex trafficking operation in which he allegedly sexually abused and trafficked dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, in his New York and Florida homes between 2002 and 2005. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Araoz is not part of the federal case against Epstein. She told Today that she never spoke to law enforcement.
Epstein’s lawyers did not immediately return a request from comment from BuzzFeed News.
Araoz said she was 14 years old when she started at a performing arts school in Manhattan, just blocks away from Epstein’s house.
One day in 2001 a woman approached Araoz outside her high school offering to buy her lunch and get to know her, she said. The woman, who Araoz referred to as “the recruiter,” eventually brought her to Epstein’s house, allegedly telling her he could help her with her aspiring Broadway career.
Once there, Araoz said, Epstein served her wine and they talked. When she left, he gave her $300 and invited her back. After a few weeks of visits, Araoz said Epstein escorted her to his “favorite room in the house” and asked for a massage.
“I kind of just followed,” Araoz told Today, adding that she visited Epstein’s house once or twice a week during her freshman year of high school.
She said that Epstein had her give him a massage wearing only her underwear — “that’s how he liked it,” she said. While on the massage table, Araoz said he would turn over and masturbate while she played with his nipples.
“He would finish himself off and that would be the end of it,” she said. “He would still give me the $300.”
Araoz said she had told the recruiter her age and had mentioned it in front of Epstein.
“He knew very well my age. He know exactly who he was hanging out with,” Aroaz told Today.
When she turned 15 years old in 2002, she said that during a massage Epstein told her to take off her underwear and get on top of him. She said she told him she did not want to, but he forcefully pulled her to the table.
She said he then allegedly held her down and raped her.
“He raped me, forcefully raped me,” she said. “…I was terrified and was telling him to stop. And he did not stop … that’s what he wanted, that’s what he got.”
After that day, Aroaz said she never went back to Epstein’s house despite his staffing continuing to contact her for about a year.
She also left the performing arts school because she said “it was so close” to his home.
She said she feels guilty she never went to the authorities. Years after the alleged assault, after suffering from anxiety, she said she confided in her mother, her then-boyfriend, and two friends. All four people told Today that Araoz told them about the alleged rape almost a decade ago.
- Jeffrey Epstein Was Charged With Sex Trafficking Underage Girls, Including At Least One 14-Year-OldTasneem Nashrulla · July 8, 2019
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at [email protected]
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