The federal sex-trafficking indictment of Wall Street wizard Jeffrey Epstein does not allege that the financier and friend of presidents and stars coerced his minor victims to the sex acts for which he paid after a “massage.”
But now a woman who wound up in Epstein’s massage parlor says just that. Epstein, she alleged in an interview with NBC, raped her.
Another wrinkle in the case: Though New York magazine quoted Donald Trump in 2002 as singing Epstein’s praises and divulging his taste for women on the “younger side,” an attorney for some of the victims says Trump long ago banned the sex-crime suspect from his Florida estate.
“He Raped Me”
Jennifer Araoz was 14, she told NBC, when one of Epstein’s procurers, a brunette in her 20s, approached her at high school in 2002.
The woman was friendly and curious, asking Araoz personal questions about her family, her upbringing, their finances. Soon she began talking to Araoz about a man she knew who was kind and wealthy and lived nearby.
His name, the woman said, was Jeffrey Epstein.
Thus did Araoz meet Epstein at his massive Manhattan townhouse. They only talked at first, she said, and the woman who picked her up for Epstein tagged along. “Araoz told him about her dream of becoming a Broadway actress and about her late father, who had died of AIDS when she was 12,” NBC reported.
But then Araoz visited Epstein alone. After a tour of the mansion, he showed her his “favorite room in the house,” the massage parlor where Epstein, Araoz and the federal indictment say, did his dirty deeds. It featured a massage table and a “painting of a nude young woman.”
Araoz would return to that room regularly over the next year, she said, manipulated into stripping down to her panties and giving Epstein massages that ended with him pleasuring himself to completion and her leaving with $300.
In the fall of 2002, Epstein pressured her to do more, Araoz said. He told her to remove her panties. Then he grabbed her 15-year-old body.
“He raped me, forcefully raped me,” Araoz told NBC News in an exclusive interview. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”
“I was terrified, and I was telling him to stop. ‘Please stop,’” added Araoz, now 32.
Preyed on Vulnerable
While the 14-page federal indictment, again, does not say Epstein physically forced girls to have sex, but instead paid and manipulated them, it does say he sought vulnerable girls like Araoz.
The woman who procured Araoz appears to have practiced a classic case of grooming, and she was a perfect target, not least because of her father's death, she told NBC. “I was kind of a lost kid and she sensed it,” Araoz said:
They had chatted a few times before the young woman ever brought up the name Jeffrey Epstein. She said he believed in helping people and was already supporting her and her family....
“She was saying he’s very powerful, he’s very wealthy, he’s a great guy,” Araoz recalled. “He’s almost like a fatherly figure to her, which had meaning for me at that time because I was maybe longing for that.”
Araoz described Epstein’s opulent home, NBC reported, recalling that “it looked like a museum.”
Araoz returned with the woman multiple times and left with $300 in cash after each visit, she said. As well, Epstein discussed his donations to AIDS charities, which naturally appealed to Araoz, and unspooled the usual line to attract the girl: He owned a modeling business, he told Araoz, and told her she should be a model.
After a month of joint visits, Araoz went to Epstein’s place alone and, after a time, wound up in the massage room. Then came the inevitable:
Epstein asked her if she was good at massages, she said. She wasn’t sure how to answer but she eventually agreed to strip down to her underwear and rub his bare back....
“I felt almost obligated because of the money he was giving me.”
Pelosi Daughter: Our “Faves” Will Be Involved
Meanwhile, citing court documents, Fox News reported yesterday that President Trump banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” say the documents “filed by Bradley Edwards, the lawyer who has represented several Epstein accusers. That claim has not been confirmed by Trump or Mar-a-Lago.”
Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a top Democrat official, tweeted some ominous news for the party: “It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated.”
One of them already is. In 2016, Fox disclosed that Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” 26 times.
Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Photo: AP Images