Jeffrey Epstein accuser files lawsuit naming female associate as his enabler
August 14, 2019
Marilyn Nieves/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Jennifer Araoz, who claimed Jeffrey Epstein raped her when she was 15, filed a lawsuit naming Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell as his enabler, as well as three unnamed employees and Epstein's estate.
"Jeffrey Epstein's network of enablers stole from me. they robbed me of my youth, my identity, my innocence and my self-worth," Araoz said in a press teleconference along with attorney Dan Kaiser. "For too long they escaped accountability."
With this suit, Araoz is pursuing her wish for Epstein's alleged co-conspirators to be investigated in the wake of the millionaire sex offender's death by apparent suicide in jail.
"Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served," Araoz, 32, said in a statement on Saturday as news of his death broke. "I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims."
The lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, and the three unnamed people who worked for Epstein were described in the court papers as the "recruiter," the "secretary" and the "maid."
ABC News reached out to Maxwell's attorney for comment, but has not received a response.
The lawsuit comes after the Child Victims Act, a New York state law, went into effect at midnight Wednesday, allowing survivors of child sexual abuse from any time period to make civil claims, in spite of existing statutes of limitations, for a one-year period.
Maxwell has previously been named by another Epstein accuser as acting as an enabler and recruiter of young women and girls for Epstein. Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges she was made a teen sex slave to Epstein and a victim of sex trafficking, alleged that she was directed by both Epstein and Maxwell to have sex with Epstein's friends and associates.
Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation in 2015 after Maxwell denied Giuffre's claims in another lawsuit, but the case was settled prior to trial.
Maxwell has consistently denied Giuffre's allegations about her. "Ghislaine Maxwell did not participate in, facilitate, manage or otherwise conspire to commit sex trafficking" as alleged by Giuffre, her attorney wrote in a 2016 court filing.
Before the Epstein case broke open, Maxwell was a British socialite long associated with Epstein. She is the daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, a British press titan who died in 1991 and was later revealed to have embezzled funds from his employees' pensions and having mounting debt.
This lawsuit comes amid an increasing focus on Epstein's alleged co-conspirators in the wake of his death. Earlier this week, two unnamed accusers requested the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida invalidate the non-prosecution agreement Epstein made in 2007 that shielded Epstein from further prosecution and protected his alleged co-conspirators.
It is unclear when a judge will hear arguments on the non-prosecution agreement.
"The case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein," U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Monday.
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