Jeffrey Epstein accuser sues Ghislaine Maxwell, 3 others; says Epstein forcefully raped her at 15
Jeffrey Epstein conspirators facing prosecution after financiers death
Judge Andrew Napolitano breaks down what the future holds for the cases against the convicted sex offender after his death.
A woman who says accused sex traffickerJeffrey Epsteinforcefully raped her when she was 15 years oldfiled a lawsuit Wednesday morning againstManhattansocialite and alleged Epstein madam Ghislaine Maxwell along with three other unidentified individuals claiming the groupconspired to make her assault possible.
Jennifer Araoz, now 32, alleges Maxwell and threeother associates of Epstein,who died in a New York federal lockupSaturday morning from an apparent suicide,conspiredto facilitatetherape, according to the lawsuit obtained by Fox News.
GHISLAINE MAXWELL, JEFFREY EPSTEINS ALLEGED RECRUITER, NOW UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The suits defendants include Epsteins estate, Maxwell and Jane Does 1, 2 and 3, a triolater described as a recruiter, a secretary and a maid.
The latest lawsuit, which many analysts say may only be the first of manycivil cases involving Epsteins estate and former acquaintances, accuses the disgraced financierof forcefully raping Araozat his Manhattan townhomein 2002. Araoz said in an NBC Newsinterview last month that she told Epstein repeatedly to stop and that he knew exactly what he was doing.
Araoz said she was a teenager when a woman approached her outside of herhigh schooland told her about a kind, wealthy man who Araoz said turned out to beEpstein.
WOMAN SAYS JEFFREY EPSTEIN FORCEFULLY RAPED HER WHEN SHE WAS 15 YEARS OLD
She told NBC thatthewoman, who has not been identified, accompanied her thefirst few times she visited the home of the wealthy and charismatic Epstein, who would have been either 49 or 50 years old at the time of the alleged rape. But, eventually, she stopped joining the teen on her visits, and during one occasion in 2002, when only Epstein and Araoz were together, she says Epstein raped her.
Araozs attorney, Dan Fraiser, is scheduled to appear on Fox News ChannelsThe StoryWednesday at 7 p.m
In anop-ed published in The New York Timeson Wednesday, Araoz wrote that, despite Epsteins death, her quest for justice is just getting started.
It took me years to tell the people close to me what had happened, she wrote.I was so intimidated by his insistence that I never speak a word of my visits to anyone. And like many survivors, I struggled with anxiety and shame for what I had experienced. The power structure was stacked against me. His money, influence and connections to important people made me want to hide and stay silent. Those same powerful forces let him hide and evade justice.
Araoz said she wants to tellher story to hold Epstein to account and also his recruiters, the workers on his payroll who knew what he was doing and the prominent people around him who helped conceal and perpetuate his sex-trafficking scheme. Their hideous actions victimized me and so many young girls like me.
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Araozs lawsuitis one of the first to be filed under the Child Victims Act, a new New York state law that took effect atmidnight Wednesday. The law allows child abuse victims to file civil lawsuits againsttheir alleged abusers within a one-yearlook back window regardless of when the abuse took place. Araoz credits the new law for providing a counterweight to feeling crushed by the power imbalance between Epstein, with his enablers, and me.
Maxwell, the 57-year-old woman accused of procuring underage girls forEpstein and sometimes allegedly joining in the abuse has become the face of the Epstein scandal in the aftermath of the 66-year-olds reported suicide.
A dual citizen of England and France, Maxwell was born on Christmas Day in 1961 to British media mogul Robert Maxwell, owner of the tabloid the Daily Mirror. Robertdied under mysterious circumstances in 1991 afterfalling from the yacht he named after Ghislaine, his youngest of nine children, and, after his death, evidence surfaced suggesting the elder Maxwell may have been using the papers employee pension fund to keep hisempire afloat.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES SWAMP JEFFREY EPSTEIN CASE FROM FRINGE AND MAINSTREAM
Ghislaine relocated to New York,living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund and trying her hand atreal estate. According to a profile of her in Britains Sunday Times, Maxwell met Epstein shortly after themove to New York and, in him, found a man who could replace the lifestyle she had with her father. Epsteins wealth opened doors and, once inside, Maxwellpossessed the power to cement crucial social connections.
From an initial romantic fling with Epstein, the relationship reportedly developed into more of a tight-knit, best friend companionship, and it was the publishing heiress who reportedly connected Epstein with two of his most high-profile friends the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and former President Bill Clinton.
Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured here in New York City in October 2016, has come under the microscope after Jeffrey Epsteins apparent suicide.(Getty Images)
Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, hasvowed to continue the investigation intoEpstein, who, at the time of his death, was being held at the Metropolitan CorrectionalCenterawaiting trial on allegations he operated an underagesex trafficking ring. And even though Epstein is now firmly outside the grip of the criminal justice system, his alleged co-conspirators haveno suchreprieve.
PRINCE ANDREWS LINK TO JEFFREY EPSTEIN DRAWS NEW SCRUTINY AFTER SUICIDE, DOCUMENT DUMP
Maxwells potential liability has already been illuminated on the civil side of the legal spectrum.
Several accusers have alleged Maxwell played a pivotal role in enlisting Epsteins alleged victims, according to court documents unsealed Friday, just hours before Epstein reportedly hanged himself with a bedsheet tied to his bunk in an8-by-8 cell.Those who say theyre victims of Epstein, and other eyewitnesses to the events surrounding hisalleged crimes, have testifiedMaxwells role was in arranging massages and sexual favors for Epstein and several of those inhiscircle of high-profile associates.
Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured, here in 2005 with Jeffrey Epstein, is accused of playing a pivotal role in enlisting Epsteins alleged sex trafficking victims.(Getty Images)
But Maxwell allegedly played an even more direct role in the sex abuse on several occasions.
Maxwell and Epstein were accused of molesting two victims in 1996 but the claims allegedly reported to the FBI fell on deaf ears, according to an affidavit viewed by the Miami Herald.
Maxwell has not released any public statements since Epsteins arrest in early July. No criminal charges have been brought against her and she has consistently and vehemently denied all allegations of misconduct.
Defense attorney Doug Richards told Fox News that, From both a civil and criminal standpoint, Epsteins death does her no favors. Victims are rightly unsatisfied with the way that this case was handled, and his death rekindles the demand for someone to be held accountable and for justice to be done, and shes next in line.
Fox News Hollie McKay contributed to this report.
Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for . Follow her on Twitter .
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