After millionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell last month, and the charges against him were dropped, many of his victims felt that they would never see justice. Now, one of the women he was charged with preying on is suing his estate.
The woman named in the indictment as Victim-1 filed suit in federal court on Wednesday, claiming Epstein’s associates recruited her at approximately age 14 and called on her to give the financier sexual “massages” until she was 17. As a result, the accuser says she never finished high school, suffers from panic attacks, and is “unable to form healthy emotional relationships with men.”
The lawsuit names as defendants Epstein’s longtime lawyers Darren Indyke and Richard D. Kahn, who he appointed as executors of his estate in his will. At least four other accusers have filed lawsuits against the millionaire’s estate since he killed himself.
Jane Doe, who lives in New York, says she was homeless and working odd jobs to make ends meet when she first met Epstein. Her sister suffered from a serious medical condition, and her single mother rented out Doe’s room in the house to pay bills. When an older girl offered to introduce her to a wealthy man who could help her make money, Doe says she readily accepted.
According to the complaint, the older girl brought Doe to Epstein’s mansion on East 71st Street, where she was subjected to a now-familiar pattern of abuse: Epstein emerged in a robe and laid down on a table, and the two girls massaged him until he ejaculated. Later, she says the girl told her Epstein wanted to see her again. She provided Doe with the phone number for one of Epstein’s assistants, who helped her schedule a follow-up visit.
Doe returned to Epstein’s mansion “countless times” over the course of three years, according to the complaint. She alleges the abuse escalated until she was required to lie down naked with the financier and let him touch her genitals. She says she was also forced to perform sexual acts with another underage girl and a woman who appeared to be an adult.
Each time, Doe says she was paid hundreds of dollars for her visits, sometimes by Epstein, other times by his alleged assistants, Leslie Groff and Sarah Kellen. She claims Kellen and Groff were also responsible for maintaining regular contact with her and scheduling her visits.
Doe says she stopped visiting Epstein in 2005, when she was 17. The next year, the financier was charged with soliciting an underage prostitute, but escaped with an 18-month jail sentence due to sweetheart plea deal with Florida authorities.
In March 2019, Doe began cooperating with federal authorities who were re-investigating Epstein’s alleged abuse of children in Manhattan, Palm Beach, and other locations. In July, Epstein was charged with sex trafficking in an indictment filed by Manhattan federal prosecutors. He was set to begin trial in August, and if convicted, could have faced up to 45 years in prison. But weeks before his hearing, Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell.
“With his reported suicide on August 10, 2019, Epstein cannot be tried for being the criminal that he was,” Jane Doe’s suit reads. “But, at the very least, the victims of his crimes, like Jane Doe, can obtain recovery for all the harm that he caused them.”
One of Epstein’s first accusers, Jennifer Araoz, filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate and his alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, last month. Days later, three other accusers sued his estate, claiming he raped them and forced them to perform other sex acts. Still others have vowed to file suits of their own.
“Give his entire estate to his victims,” Lisa Bloom,a lawyer for several of the accusers, told the Associated Press. “It is the only justice they can get. And they deserve it. And on behalf of the Epstein victims I represent, I intend to fight for it.”