Courts Violence Against Women

Jeffrey Epstein Victim Jennifer Araoz Names More Defendants in Sex Trafficking Ring

Jennifer Araoz, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, filed a new complaint Tuesday that names multiple women and more than 20 corporate entities she says enabled the wealthy businessman’s sexual assaults of herself and other young women throughout the mid-2000s.

The complaint accuses four people of facilitating Epstein’s abuse of Araoz when she was 14 years old, naming them as defendants: Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s long-time companion; Rosalyn Fontanilla, a former housekeeper who died in 2016; Lesley Groff, who worked as Epstein’s secretary, and Cimberly Espinosa, a former executive assistant to Epstein.

Maxwell and Groff have been named in previous court documents alleging that they enabled Epstein’s abuse of young girls, but the amended complaint filed by Araoz is the first public allegation against Fontanilla and Espinosa.

The executors of Epstein’s estate and several companies owned by him were also included as defendants in the complaint.

The complaint alleges the defendants “participated with and assisted Epstein in maintaining and protecting his sex trafficking ring, ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him for his sexual pleasure,” the lawsuit says.

“The co-conspirators provided organizational support to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, identifying and hiring the recruiters of underage girls for Epstein’s sexual pleasure, scheduling appointments with these underage girls for Epstein’s sexual pleasure, intimidating potential witnesses to Epstein’s sex trafficking operation, and generally providing administrative oversight of his sex trafficking operation and ensuring it remained secret.”

Araoz alleges that she alone was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Epstein at his New York City townhouse when she was 14 and 15 years old, including a rape in 2002. Araoz says she was recruited outside her New York City high school by a 20-something year old brunette woman who remains unknown.

In the new court documents, Araoz claims that Groff often reached out to her to set up sexual encounters with Epstein. Espinosa, an employee of an Epstein-owned company called NES, would also contact Araoz to schedule visits, the lawsuit says.

Araoz told reporters in August that Epstein and his “’network of enablers’ stole her youth, identity, innocence and self-worth.”

Epstein had pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking of minors, and any defendants or representatives of defendants that have been contacted have denied all claims made against them.

The former financier and accused sexual predator died by suicide inside his federal jail cell in New York on August 10th while he was awaiting trial on charges of running a sex trafficking ring in the mid-2000s.

Sources: NBC News 10/8/19; CNN 10/8/19

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