Federal prosecutors earlier this week encouraged more of financier Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims to come forward following his arrest, and now, a new accuser has shared her story with NBC News.
Jennifer Araoz in a Wednesday interview with Savannah Guthrie on Today shared her account of allegedly being raped by Epstein when she was 15 years old.
She describes in the NBC interview being approached by a "recruiter" outside of her high school when she was 14 and being introduced to Epstein at his New York townhouse, which she soon began to visit about once a week. Araoz says Epstein served her wine, gave her hundreds of dollars, and had her massage him wearing only her underwear while he pleasured himself. "He knew very well my age," Araoz said. Then, when she was 15, Araoz says Epstein "forcefully raped" her.
"I was terrified and I was telling him to stop," she said. "...He had no intentions of stopping." She did not return to see Epstein again after that, Araoz says, and left her school because it was so close to where he lived.
Epstein this week was arrested and hit with sex trafficking charges as prosecutors say he abused dozens of underage girls, with the FBI finding photos of nude, apparently underage girls at his Manhattan mansion. Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Araoz says she did not initially tell anyone about the encounter but later shared her story with four people, who confirmed this to NBC. Now, Araoz plans to file a lawsuit, saying "he hurt me badly" and "this is one way for me to get justice." Brendan Morrow