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(CNN)” – I was terrified and I was telling him to stop, please stop.”Jennifer Araoz says that’s what she told Jeffrey Epstein as he raped her when she was 15 years old.
Araoz told NBC’s “Today” show in an interview aired Wednesday that she started going to Epstein’s Manhattan home when she was 14 years old, and gave him massages dressed only in her underwear.
“I was 14 years old, what the hell do you know when you’re that young?” Araoz asked.
The encounters began after a woman Araoz called a “recruiter” talked to her outside her school in meetings that spanned over a year.
She said “that he (Epstein) was just a great guy,” and that he could probably help Araoz with her career.
When she first began visiting Epstein’s home, Araoz said he was very nice and told her he’d heard a lot about her. She was served wine, she said, even though he knew her age. “I don’t think he cared,” she said.
She went to his home once or twice a week, Araoz said. After each visit, she said, she was given $300, and the visits eventually began to include massages.
There were several sexually suggestive items in Epstein’s home, Araoz said, including “prosthetic breasts he could play with while he was taking a bath, it was very odd.
“Next to the massage table was a painting of a nude woman who Epstein said resembled Araoz.
She says she wasn’t completely comfortable with the massage sessions, but she was “afraid he would get angry” with her if she didn’t do as asked.
After the massages ended, she told NBC, he would turn over, “finish himself off and that would be the end of it.”After about a year, Epstein asked Araoz to take off her underwear and get on top of him, she said.”I said I didn’t want to … he kind of very forcefully brought me to the table and I did what he wanted,” she said.”I was terrified and I was telling him to stop, please stop,” but he didn’t, she said.
She didn’t recognize what happened as rape at the time, Araoz said.”I thought it was my fault, I thought I was obligated. I didn’t know better.”
Araoz said she never went back after that, even though Epstein’s staff continued to reach out to her. She even stopped attending her school, which was in the same neighborhood as Epstein’s home.”I didn’t want that to happen again.”Araoz has filed a petition and has announced her intention to file a lawsuit against Epstein.
The earliest she can file is August 14, when a new law takes effect allowing adult survivors of child sexual abuse one year to sue their abuser or a negligent institution for offenses in New York, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.
She said she feels guilty she didn’t alert authorities earlier about what happened.”Maybe he wouldn’t have done it to other girls,” she said. “I was too scared, I didn’t want to go public with it.”Araoz’s account is similar to the stories of other women who have come forward with allegations against Epstein.
NBC reported that Araoz told her mother, her then-boyfriend and two close friends several years ago about the encounters.
Kimberly Lerner, one of Araoz’s attorneys, told CNN Wednesday her client didn’t know there were other Epstein victims until her ex-boyfriend sent her an article about it in 2008.
That’s the same year Epstein secured a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in Miami and pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges, serving just 13 months in prison.
He also registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to the victims identified by the FBI.
CNN has reached out to Epstein’s lawyers for comment about the latest allegations but has not yet heard back.