Jennifer Araoz was a fresh-faced 14-year-old when she was recruited to become part of Epstein’s harem of underage victims, she told NBC News.
What started off as mostly nude massages escalated into rape, she said.
“He raped me, forcefully raped me,” Ms Araoz, now 32, told the network. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”
Ms Araoz’s nightmare began in 2001 when a woman in her 20s approached her outside her high school, The Talent Unlimited, on the Upper East Side and chatted her up about her upbringing, her family and their finances, the NY Post reports.
“I was kind of a lost kid and she sensed it,” Ms Araoz said.
Soon, the woman introduced the teen to Epstein at his East 71st Street townhouse, where she opened up to the much older financier about wanting to become a Broadway actor and how her dad had died of AIDS when she was 12.
Epstein told her she was “very lucky to have met somebody like him” and “that he could really help me”, she recalled.
One day, Epstein took Ms Araoz on a tour of his $77 million home — leading her to what he called his “favourite room in the house”, she recalled.
It was the massage room — equipped with a table on the floor and a photo of a nude woman on the wall.
For a year, Ms Araoz said she was brainwashed into giving Epstein massages while wearing only her underwear. He would masturbate until he finished — and then leave her $300.
But in 2002, Ms Araoz claimed, Epstein told her to remove her underwear because he wanted to “try something a little bit different”.
“Why don’t you do the massage on top of me?” he asked, before raping her.
“It was very aggressive, it was forceful,” she recalled. “I was terrified, and I was telling him to stop. ‘Please stop’.”
She said she never returned to his home after that day — but the trauma of her last encounter with Epstein took a toll on her. She dropped out of school to avoid going to his neighbourhood and suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.
“I kind of hated myself for it,” Ms Araoz said. “I was like, ‘I’m stupid, I should have known better. I’m a bad kid’.
“I basically just tried to forget about it and live my life.”
Asked why she never went to authorities, Ms Araoz said she was scared.
“I was so young that I was worried that somehow I would get in trouble,” she said. “I was really frightened of Epstein. He knew a lot of powerful people, and I didn’t know what he could do to me, and I wasn’t sure that anyone could protect me.”
Epstein’s lawyers didn’t return messages from NBC News seeking comment about Ms Araoz’s account.
The 66-year-old is charged with sexually abusing underage girls at his homes in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
In 2008, Epstein dodged federal charges as part of a sweetheart deal he struck with prosecutors in Florida that allowed him to plead guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution, one involving a minor, in exchange for an 18-month sentence. He wound up serving 15 months.
Ms Araoz said she hoped Epstein, who faces a maximum of 45 years behind bars, spends the rest of his life in prison.
“He shouldn’t be on the streets anymore, period,” she said.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission