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Jennifer Aaroz Claims Jeffrey Epstein Raped Her When She Was 15 — Here's Her Story

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Who Is Jennifer Araoz? New Details On The Woman Who Claims Jeffrey Epstein Raped Her When She Was 15

When Jennifer Araoz was 14, a woman “recruited” her to billionaire former hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse. She was told to give him a massage wearing only her underwear while he masturbated. One day, when she was 15, he pulled her onto the massage table and raped her. Unsurprisingly, Epstein was accused earlier this week of running a sex trafficking operation in which he allegedly sexually abused and trafficked dozens of underage girls in both his New York City and Florida mansions between 2002 and 2005.

What else is there to know about the case? Who is Jennifer Araoz?

1. Araoz went to a performing arts school in Manhattan when she was 14, just blocks from Epstein’s house.

She grew up in Queens in a household with little money. Her father passed away when she was in middle school, which took an enormous toll on her and her family. When a woman in her 20s approached Jennifer Araoz outside the small Talent Unlimited High School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and offered to buy her lunch, she opened up about her struggles and aspirations because she was easy to talk to. “I was kind of a lost kid and she sensed it,” Araoz told NBC news.

Eventually, the “recruiter” invited Araoz to Epstein’s house, telling her that he could help her with the Broadway career she wanted. When Araoz got there, she and Epstein talked over wine. She left with $300 and an invite to return. After a few weeks of visits, Araoz said Epstein showed her his “favorite room in the house” and asked for a massage.

2. Epstein definitely knew her age.

“He knew very well my age," Araoz said in an interview. “He knew exactly who he was hanging out with.” After the rape, Aroaz never went back to Epstein's house, although his staff continued to reach out to her for about a year. She even left her performing arts school because “it was so close” to his home.

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3. She feels guilty that she never went to the authorities.

And honestly, can you blame her for doubting it would have done her any good given how quickly judges are willing to overlook a rape case when it involves a wealthy white man? (Plus, she was 14!) She told him “no” and he did it anyway. Years after the alleged assault, Araoz was still suffering from anxiety. She confided in her mother, her then-boyfriend, and two of her friends, and all four of them said that Araoz told them about the alleged rape almost a decade ago.

4. Araoz is now a makeup artist living not too far from her childhood home in Queens!

She’s still grappling with the emotional damage Epstein caused her, but I’m so happy to see her not just surviving but thriving. Araoz has expressed that she hopes Epstein spends the rest of his life in prison, and that she’s willing to testify in court if asked to by federal prosecutors. “I was so young that I was worried that somehow I would get in trouble,” Araoz said. “I was really frightened of Epstein. He knew a lot of powerful people and I didn't know what he could do to me, and I wasn't sure that anyone could protect me.”

Leah Scher is an ENFP finishing her degree at Brandeis University. She's an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. She's passionate about Judaism, poetry, film, satire, astrology, spirituality, and sexual health.