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A woman who claimed Jeffrey Epstein “forcefully raped” her when she was a teen has sued Ghislaine Maxwell — an alleged recruiter for Epstein — along with three others, claiming they conspired to make the rape possible.
Jennifer Araoz, now 32, alleges Maxwell and three other associates of Epstein’s conspired with one another to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual assault of the plaintiff, according to the lawsuit obtained by Fox News.
GHISLAINE MAXWELL, JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ALLEGED ‘RECRUITER,’ NOW UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Araoz lists Epstein’s estate, Maxwell, and two others — identified as Jane Does 1, 2 and 3; a “recruiter,” a “secretary” and a “maid” — as defendants.
The 32-year-old has accused Epstein — who was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Facility on Saturday from apparent suicide — of “forcefully” raping her at his Manhattan townhome when she was 15 years old.
The woman said she told Epstein repeatedly to stop, and added the 66-year-old “knew exactly what he was doing.”
Araoz said she met Epstein as a teenager after a woman approached her outside of her high school and told her about a kind, wealthy man — who Araoz said turned out to be Epstein. She said that woman, who has not been identified, tagged along during the first few times she visited Epstein’s house.
WOMAN SAYS JEFFREY EPSTEIN ‘FORCEFULLY RAPED’ HER WHEN SHE WAS 15 YEARS OLD
The woman eventually stopped joining Araoz and Epstein, she said, and claims he eventually raped her in 2002.
The lawsuit filed is one of the first to be filed under the Child Victims Act, a new New York state law that took effect on midnight Wednesday. The law allows child abuse victims to sue their alleged abusers for one year, regardless of when the abuse took place.
Maxwell, the 57-year-old woman accused of working with Epstein, has come under the microscope after Epstein’s death.
A dual citizen of England and France, Maxwell was born on Christmas Day to British media mogul Robert Maxwell, owner of the tabloid Daily Mirror, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991 — falling from the yacht he named after Ghislaine, his youngest of nine children. After his death, evidence surfaced suggesting Maxwell may have been using the paper’s employee pension fund to keep the empire afloat.
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She relocated to New York, living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund and trying her hand at real estate. According to a profile of her in Britain’s Sunday Times, Maxwell met Epstein shortly after her move to New York and, in him, she found a man who “could replace the lifestyle she had” with her father. Epstein’s wealth opened doors and, once inside, she possessed the power to cement crucial social connections.
From an initial romantic fling with Epstein, the relationship 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 Epstein’s apparent suicide. (Getty Images)
Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has vowed to continue the investigation into Epstein, who, at the time of his death, was in a New York facility awaiting trial on allegations he operated an underage sex trafficking ring. And even though Epstein is now firmly outside the grip of the criminal justice system, his alleged “co-conspirators” do not enjoy a similar reprieve.
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Maxwell’s 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 Epstein’s alleged victims, according to court documents unsealed Friday. Those who say they’re victims of Epstein and other eyewitnesses to the events surrounding his alleged crimes, have testified Maxwell’s role was in arranging massages and sexual favors for Epstein and a circle of his high-profile associates.
Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured, here in 2005 with Jeffrey Epstein, is accused of playing a pivotal role in enlisting Epstein’s 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.
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Maxwell has not released any public statements since Epstein’s 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, Epstein’s 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 she’s next in line.”
Fox News’ Hollie McKay contributed to this report.
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