Just days after Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on sex-trafficking charges, a new accuser is alleging that the New York billionaire raped her when she was 15.
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In a "Today" show interview that aired Wednesday morning, Jennifer Araoz, now 32, told host Savannah Guthrie that she began going to Epstein's Manhattan home in 2001 after a woman approached the then-14-year-old near her school and eventually invited her to meet Epstein.
>> Watch the full interview here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)
Araoz said that initially, the woman accompanied her when she visited Epstein, and the pair just talked, NBC News reported. But one day, the other woman stopped coming, Araoz said.
That's when Epstein began bringing her to a room with a nude painting, where she would take off all her clothes except her underwear and massage him, she said. Epstein would touch himself and give her $300 after each visit, she told Guthrie.
The next year, when she was 15, Epstein took things further, telling her to take off her underwear, Araoz said. He then raped her.
"I was terrified, and I was telling him to stop," she told Guthrie.
But he continued, Araoz said. That was the last time she went to his home, even though his staff contacted her repeatedly for a year, she told Guthrie.
Years later, she said she told four people, including her mother and an ex-boyfriend, about the alleged incidents, NBC News reported. Those people confirmed that she had spoken to them, the outlet said.
"He raped me, forcefully raped me, knew exactly what he was doing, and I don't think cared." Araoz told Guthrie. "What hurts even moreso is that if I wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it to other girls. I feel really guilty. To this day, I feel really guilty."
Epstein, now 66, pleaded not guilty Monday to federal sex-trafficking charges stemming from allegations that he solicited minors for prostitution from 2002 to 2005. Araoz said she is not one of the victims involved in that case but plans on filing a lawsuit, NBC News reported.
The network said it contacted Epstein's attorneys about Araoz's allegations, but they have not responded.
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