Epstein accuser sues as jail death probed

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In the first of an expected wave of lawsuits, Jennifer Araoz, 32, said she had just entered high school in 2001 when an Epstein associate brought her to the financier's mansion on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

It was the beginning of a grooming process that led to months of sexual abuse including a "brutal rape".

The lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court is among the first of a series by women made possible by the state's Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year window to sue over alleged sexual abuse regardless of how long ago it occurred.

Epstein, who once counted US President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton as friends, was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday morning at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.

The well-connected money manager apparently took his own life.

Psychologists on Tuesday began studying how the suicide occurred, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Another team at the MCC on Wednesday began an "after action" review, which is normally triggered by significant events such as the death of a high-profile inmate, the person familiar with the matter said.

The reviews are separate from investigations by the FBI and US Department of Justice's inspector general.

Epstein was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls between 2002 and 2005.

Prosecutors said he recruited girls to give him massages, which became sexual in nature.

Araoz's lawsuit says former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell facilitated Epstein's abuse of several girls by overseeing their recruitment and "ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him for his sexual pleasure".

The other three unnamed defendants in Araoz's lawsuit - all women who allegedly worked for Epstein in New York - are a maid, a secretary, and a "recruiter" who helped procure underage girls for him.

Araoz told reporters on a conference call she was angry that Epstein's death meant he would never face her in court.

"Today is my first step toward reclaiming my power Jeffrey Epstein and his enablers stole from me," she said.

"They robbed me of my youth, my identity, my innocence and my self worth."

The complaint described Epstein's massage room as having a ceiling painted as a blue sky with clouds and angels, "to give the appearance that you were in heaven".

It also detailed a variety of alleged misconduct by Epstein, including what she called an insinuation that she owed him because of the money he paid her.

"I take care of you, you take care of me," the complaint quoted Epstein as saying.

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