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On August 14th, 2019, ChancoSchiffer P.C. filed a lawsuit on behalf of 32-year-old Jennifer Araoz against the estate of Jeffrey Epstein. It was one of the first lawsuits against Epstein’s estate after he took his own life on August 10th. Araoz is suing the estate for the damages she suffered from an alleged rape and repeated sexual assaults from the ages of 14 to 15 by Epstein. ChancoSchiffer P.C. is defending Ms. Araoz’s case, fighting for fair and full financial restitution on her behalf for the life-changing losses she experienced.
Jennifer Araoz first met Jeffrey Epstein when she was 14 years old. In her version of events, a woman in her 20s approached Jennifer at her high school in New York: the Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan. Jennifer does not remember the woman’s name but says she took an interest in Jennifer and met her outside of the school a few times. During these visits, the woman talked about Epstein and described him as a ‘great guy’ who was very wealthy and believed in helping people. The woman convinced Jennifer to accompany her back to Epstein’s seven-story townhouse, which was about 10 blocks from the high school.
During Jennifer’s first few visits, the woman was in the room when Jennifer and Mr. Epstein spoke. Jennifer says Epstein asked about her family, her life and her career goals. Jennifer wanted to be on Broadway at the time, and Epstein offered contacts he had in the industry. He also mentioned he owned a modeling agency and said she should consider modeling. After each meeting with Epstein, his secretary would give Jennifer $300 in cash. Since he’d given her no reason not to trust him at this point, she felt comfortable to return alone for the first time.
On that first solo visit, Epstein did not chat with Jennifer downstairs as he always had. Instead, he took her upstairs to a private massage room. The room had a massage chair and a portrait of a nude woman hanging on the wall. Here, Epstein manipulated Jennifer into stripping down to just her underwear and giving him a massage. She said she felt obligated to obey because of the money he had been giving her. As Jennifer recalls, after the first few massages, Mr. Epstein began to turn over and play with himself. He asked her to touch his nipples and would finish himself off. This continued throughout her freshman year. At the beginning of her sophomore year, however, things changed.
Epstein started to get violent with Ms. Araoz during the massages, demanding her to conduct them on top of him instead of in their usual position. She protested and said she wanted to stick to the normal routine, but she ultimately removed her underwear and obeyed. Jennifer says he fondled her privates and was very aggressive and forceful. She says she told him to stop, terrified, but he proceeded to forcibly rape her. Jennifer left the house and never returned. From that point on, Jennifer’s life unraveled as she suffered crippling anxiety. She quit the school to avoid being in Epstein’s neighborhood and abandoned her dreams of Broadway.
Jennifer Araoz first began to speak out about her experience in an exclusive Today Show interview with a reporter from NBC News the day she filed papers with the courts saying she intended to bring a lawsuit against Epstein. She had previously told her story only to a boyfriend, her parents and two close friends. The lawyers at ChancoSchiffer P.C. have filed a claim against Epstein for his crimes against Ms. Araoz, as well as against his associate Ghislaine Maxwell and three of Epstein’s staffers for facilitating the sexual abuse of minors.
Ms. Araoz’s case comes after prosecutors filed charges against Jeffrey Epstein in July 2019 for operating a sex trafficking ring in New York and Florida. Federal prosecutors alleged that Epstein sexually abused dozens of minors and created a network of young girls to exploit by paying his victims to recruit others. Epstein eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge of soliciting minors for prostitution. Jennifer Araoz says bringing her claim feels like she is ‘reclaiming her power’ from Epstein, who stole it from her at a young age. Her case against Epstein’s estate asks the presiding judge to secure assets for damages to reimburse her significant losses.