Just one day before registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found injured in his prison cell with minor marks around his neck, he apparently had been provided court documents alleging he had raped a 15-year-old girl.
CNBC reported that Epstein had been served legal documents, which outlined the claims of Jennifer Araoz, who says the millionaire financier raped and assaulted her in his New York City mansion while she was a high school student in 2001. NBC reported Araoz’s story on July 10, in which she claimed a young woman approached her outside of her high school and began speaking about a wealthy man she knew. This woman accompanied Araoz to Epstein’s mansion a few times, where they spoke with Epstein about the young girl’s desire to become a Broadway actress and the death of her father.
When Araoz visited the mansion alone, Epstein gave her a tour, including his “favorite room in the house” that consisted of a massage table on the floor and a “painting of a nude young woman” on the wall, according to NBC. Epstein, according to Araoz, paid her $300 to give him massages while wearing just her underwear “that ended with him pleasuring himself to completion,” NBC reported. She did this for over a year before Epstein began asking her to remove all her clothes and touching her.
“He raped me, forcefully raped me,” Araoz told the network. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”
She added that she “was terrified” and kept “telling him to stop.”
She said she never went back to the house after she says he raped her and spent years dealing with the trauma of what happened. Araoz did not contact authorities at the time or since, and is not included in the original indictment against Epstein. She is now preparing to sue Epstein but wants a judge to allow her attorneys to depose Epstein in order to determine the identification of the woman who recruited her when she was a teenager.
“Upon identification of the recruiter, she will be added as a defendant too,” Araoz’s lawsuit said, according to CNBC. “Further, the recruiter possesses critical evidence of [Araoz’s] sexual assault claims.”
Epstein was provided the documents on July 22. On July 23, he was found in his prison cell with marks around on his neck. NBC reported that two sources told the outlet Epstein it looked like he may have tried to hang himself. Another source questioned whether Epstein staged the injuries — which were minor — in an attempt to get transferred to another prison. Yet another source told the outlet that it may have been an assault and that his cellmate was questioned. The cellmate’s attorney told the outlet that his client and Epstein got along.
On Wednesday, NBC reported that Epstein showed “no outward signs of injury” when he appeared in federal court for a hearing. The hearing was to discuss possible trial dates. His attorney requested the date be set for after Labor Day since there was so much evidence to go through.