New Jeffrey Epstein accuser comes forward with rape allegation

Jennifer Araoz shared her story on NBC's "Today" on Wednesday, saying she was sexually assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein in 2002, when she was 15.

"He raped me, forcefully raped me. He knew exactly what he was doing. ... I was terrified, and I was telling him to stop. 'Please stop."
— Araoz, now 32.

Details: The federal indictment unsealed this week against Epstein, 66, mentions 3 anonymous victims but none of them is Araoz.

  • She never reported the assault, but told her mother and her old boyfriend around the same time in 2008.
  • 2 close friends were told about 10 and 6 years ago, respectively. NBC confirmed the accounts from all 4 people.

When Araoz was 14, she said she was recruited outside her performing arts high school in New York to give massages to a wealthy financier nearby.

  • She visited Epstein's mansion several times with the woman who had recruited her, where she would give Epstein massages, and he would masturbate. She was paid $300 each visit.
  • The time she showed up alone was the time she was assaulted. She never returned afterward even though Epstein's people continued to reach out for more than a year later.
  • "I kind of hated myself for it. I was like, 'I'm stupid, I should have known better. I'm a bad kid," she told NBC's Savannah Guthrie.

Watch her interview here.

Read more: What we know about the Jeffrey Epstein indictment

What's next

What we know: The life and death of Jeffrey Epstein

A protest group called "Hot Mess" holds signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8. Photo: Stephanie Keith / Stringer/Getty Images.

Federal prosecutors charged multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein with sexual abuse and sex trafficking of underage girls in July. On Aug. 10, the 66-year-old was found dead in an apparent suicide at a federal detention center in New York City.

The latest: After alleged victims and their attorneys testified at a hearing on Aug. 27, a federal judge formally closed the criminal sex trafficking case against Epstein Aug. 29. Meanwhile, prosecutors in France opened a preliminary investigation into Epstein, "in connection with possible offenses such as rape, the sexual assault of minors and criminal conspiracy" in late August.

Acosta defends handling of 2008 Epstein plea deal

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Wednesday "facts are being overlooked" concerning his handling of a sex-trafficking case involving accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, as he defended his handling of the 2008 case.

Why it matters: Now Epstein faces sex trafficking charges involving minors in New York, Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are demanding Acosta resign over the lenient deal reached in the wealthy financier's earlier case, when the labor secretary was serving as U.S. attorney in southern Florida.

Go deeperArrowJul 11, 2019 - Politics

Jeffrey Epstein denied bail in sex trafficking case

Epstein in 2004. Photo: Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender and former hedge fund investor, was denied bail by a federal judge in New York Thursday and will remain in jail while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.

Details: Judge Richard Berman said from the bench that Epstein presents both a flight risk and a danger to the community, which influenced his decision to deny bail, per CNBC.